Portland Christmas tree arrives Thursday

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PORTLAND — The tree that signals the start of the holiday season in the city is scheduled to arrive downtown Thursday morning.

Department of Public Services crews will begin trucking the 65-foot blue spruce at 9 a.m. from South Portland. The tree will travel across the Casco Bay Bridge, along Commercial Street and up Franklin Street to Monument Square by about 10:30 a.m.

South Portland resident Alan Betters donated the tree.

“After an exhaustive search of greater Portland, we found by far the best tree in South Portland. It will look beautiful when adorned with lights in Monument Square,” city arborist Jeff Tarling said.

The tree will be lit with more than 3,000 LED lights, donated by the Efficiency Maine energy conservation program.

The lights will be turned on Friday, Nov. 23, at 5:30 p.m. in the annual holiday ceremony coordinated by Portland’s Downtown District.