Saturday, November 17, 2007

Bringing It Downtown

The Living Christmas Tree -- Christmas in the Heart of the City revives Fort Wayne tradition
Link (DID)

"For 25 years, the Living Christmas Tree was one of the most cherished events of the Christmas season. Featuring 135 singers standing in a 35 foot tree with hundreds of lights, 1200 pounds of boughs, and lavish decorations, the Living Christmas Tree was an annual music program offered at Blackhawk Christian Church from 1977 through 2002. “We averaged about 20,000 visitors a year,” says Peter Kobe, who was the minister of music at Blackhawk and brought the idea of the Living Christmas Tree to the church after seeing something similar in California in 1974. “After 25 years, that’s a lot of people.”

It’s been five years since the Living Christmas Tree happened in Fort Wayne, but it makes its return on December 1 and 2 with four performances at the Scottish Rite Auditorium."
"The Living Christmas Tree is a little different this year than what many might remember from its years at Blackhawk Christian Church. It’s a ticketed event, with only four performances over two days. But Kobe says he’s heard from hundreds of people who are excited about its return. “A lot of them say it’s just become a part of their Christmas tradition,” Kobe says. “I was in a restaurant the other day, and this gentleman reminded me that he got married in front of the tree in 1993. It’s very family-oriented, it’s traditional, and people just enjoy that aspect of it.”"