Christmas year-round (at least this year) for clock tower tree

       If someone flips a switch some evening, there would be Christmas in the summertime in Old Colorado City's Old Town Plaza.

Colored LED bulbs can be seen recently amid the branches of the tall spruce tree next to the clock tower in the Old Town Plaza.
Westside Pioneer photo

       It's not another new promotion for the historic shopping district. It's because the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) merchants group forgot to take the colored lights down from the tall spruce tree by the clock tower after last year's holiday season.
       The only reason the issue has come up is because members of the advisory committee for the Old Colorado City Security & Maintenance District, which is charged with looking after the area's public amenities, fretted at a recent meeting about potential damage to the tree's branches.
       “It's dangerous for the tree,” said committee chair Judy Kasten. “Trees grow, and if the lights are wrapped around branches, either the tree or the lights will give.”
       If the lights did the giving, the OCCA would wind up having to replace fairly expensive LED lights, she pointed out.
       Charlie Irwin, president of the OCCA, did not share Kasten's concerns. Although willing to coordinate with the district, “There are many many other things more dire,” he observed. In any case, he said, “it's silly to bring them down now, so close to the holiday.”
       The OCCA would save money if the lights could stay. Last year, when the merchants didn't put in a request soon enough to Colorado Springs Utilities volunteers to put up the lights throughout Old Town, as they had in past holiday seasons, the OCCA had to pay a private company to do it, and the cost was in “the hundreds of dollars,” Irwin said.
       The OCCA typically gets the lights up around Thanksgiving - also stringing them along the avenue trees between 24th and 27th streets - and takes them down after New Year's.

Westside Pioneer article