Cape May, NJ – When guests visit us in the summer, we send them to the beach. When they come visiting in December, we send them to our Christmas trees.
Cape May, you see, takes Christmas very seriously. One tree would never be enough.
It starts in mid November, when the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities lights up the 60 foot tall cedar tree growing on the front lawn of the Emlen Physick Estate. MAC says they’re trying to ignite some early holiday spirit and draw in some early Christmas tourists.
They have to bring in a cherry picker to wrap the tree, head to trunk, in thousands of white lights. Now that’s serious holiday decorating.
Two weeks later, the Mayor and the Cape Harmonaires singing group, fresh from the MAC tree lighting, head to the bandstand at Rotary Park for the town’s official tree lighting.
This Christmas tree sits in the same gazebo that houses summer band concerts. The tree and Rotary Park are a confection of blue and white this year, thanks to the LED lights. No fancy designers involved. The town’s Public Works department does all the decorating.
Once the Rotary Park tree is lit, everyone moves over to Congress Hall for the town’s third tree lighting.
The folks at Congress Hall are not bashful about their intentions. This might be a sleepy shore town, but Congress Hall is shooting for a Rockefeller Center style Christmas tree and all the tourists that implies. There’s even a little outdoor shopping area.
The 30 foot Douglas fir, fresh from a lawn in North Cape May, is festooned with big, old fashioned multi-colored tree lights.
Which tree do we like best? We ‘re not going to touch that one with a ten foot candy cane.
What we are wondering is why Wilbraham Park in West Cape May doesn’t have a tree lighting.
Let’s not stop at three next year. Let’s go for four!