SOLVANG, Calif. - With Christmas gone, it's time to get rid of that dry Christmas tree in your living room. The city of Solvang is turning your old trees into a spectacular display.
David Marshall and his son unload their old Christmas tree into a growing pile at the Santa Ines Mission. It's part of the yearly Solvang Christmas Tree Burn, now in its 25th year. Anybody can drop their tree off at the pile, and come next Friday, hundreds of trees will go up in flames in spectacular fashion.
"It began as kind of an educational offering if you will by the fire department. Apparently several of the citizens were trying to burn their Christmas trees in their own fireplace. Of course that would be a massive hazard, and so they began a public community event," says Fred Lageman, Solvang Parks and Recreation director.
Dozens of trees sat in the pile on Friday. The Parks and Recreation Department expects the pile to double and possibly even triple by next week.
That's a lot of Christmas trees, and if you've seen how quickly those pines go up in flames, they're in for one huge bonfire.
"Everybody comes back because it gets so hot," says Marshall.
"It's an incredible amount of heat. When the whole thing is on fire you really feel it," says Lageman.
Solvang's Parks and Recreation Department expects close to one thousand people to show up for the popular event, making sure the holiday season goes out with a bang.
"Go out with style," says Lageman.
You can drop off your Christmas tree at the pile anytime from now until next Friday, January 10th. The festivities begin at 5 pm on the 10th at the Santa Ines Mission.