Newport community calls for help to fix ‘pathetic town Christmas tree’

NEWPORT, Wash.– Some people who live in Newport aren’t happy with the way a tree in town was decorated for the holidays.

A GoFundMe called “Help fix Newport’s pathetic town Christmas tree” was started to raise money for new decorations. The person in charge of the page wrote they will personally decorate the tree.

“This tree is just sad. Whoever hung these lights up should be ashamed.. we can do better. Even Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree looked better than this sad spruce. When they put these lights up, the value of our homes dropped. Stores lost business. People driving by were laughing. This is a disgrace to the good name of not only Newport but Saint Nic himself and I won’t stand for it. We can’t do Santa like this. I’m taking a stand,” said the GoFundMe description in part.

City leaders posted to Facebook that complaints about the tree on Washington Avenue led them to ask for the decorations to be taken down. Mayor Shirley Sands said the city doesn’t decorate the tree and it’s an effort from the community.

Sands said in the Facebook post she hopes in the future the tree can be as “beautiful as it has been in the past.” She also thanked the people who put in the time and money to decorate the tree.

The Greater Newport Area Chamber of Commerce said it is working on a solution to the tree. It said it is looking for volunteers to join the events committee and help fix the lights and help with other holiday planning.

The Chamber of Commerce said in the past, there have been lighting ceremonies and other events in the past that it has put on. However, because there aren’t enough people volunteering, that all went away.

“Come be part of the solution,” the Chamber of Commerce said in a Facebook post.

Not everyone who calls Newport home thinks the tree is “pathetic.”

Firefighter and EMT Angela Moore reached out to 4 News Now to say she saw all the comments about the tree being “a perfect representation of how ‘terrible’ this town is” and wanted to share her thoughts. She said she thinks the tree does represent the town.

“The lights may be mismatched and a little wonky, just like us. However, underneath those lights stands a strong and beautiful tree that has weathered EVERY storm only to become stronger and MORE beautiful. That is ALSO us. Our town has flaws and problems like any other, however, underneath we are strong and beautiful,” Moore said.

Moore said she plans to ask the chief if they can help put lights up as a way to serve the community.

Even if the efforts to raise money and redecorate fall short, the tree won’t be bare through the holiday season.

The city said it plans to have elementary school students hang their handmade decorations on it sometime next week.

RELATED: 101 things to do in the Inland Northwest this holiday season

RELATED: Making Spirits Bright: Mark Peterson and the Extreme Team light up Cowley Park