Chandler’s Tumbleweed Christmas Tree a Holiday Tradition since 1957
Chandler’s Tumbleweed Christmas Tree has been a tradition since 1957, when Chandler resident Earl Barnum raised the idea of a tumbleweed tree after he saw a similar one in Indiana built out of cone-shaped chicken wire with pine boughs stuck in the holes. Locals in the community helped create the first ‘Tumbleweed Tree’ by gathering none other than tumbleweeds found around the town of Chandler. Little did they know that their creation would continue on throughout the decades as a main holiday attraction for the City of Chandler and its residents. To top it off, Chandler is the only city to feature such a tree in the desert southwest!
How is it made?
First, members of the City’s Park Operations Division gather tumbleweeds from the outskirts of the City. With Chandler’s rapid growth and development, fewer stretches of empty land are within the City limits, which makes it harder to find tumbleweeds in large quantities. So, the Park crews must start collecting the tumbleweeds earlier each year. Nearly 1,000 tumbling tumbleweeds are collected each year and are used to adorn a 25-foot tall wire frame. Then, the tumbleweeds are sprayed with 25 gallons of white paint, 20 gallons of flame retardant and dusted with 65 pounds of glitter. The tree is later adorned with approximately 1,200 holiday lights that give it a spectacular look, day or night. The lighting of the Tumbleweed Tree draws a large crowd, with more than 12,000 expected to watch the Mayor and members of the City Council flip the switch to light this magnificent sight. The Tumbleweed Tree Lighting Ceremony and the Parade of Lights (starting at 7 p.m.) help to bring our community together to kick-off the holidays. Source: City of Chandler
Directions to Chandler Park – Home of the Tumbleweed Christmas Tree