City tree brings holiday spirit to courthouse lawn

CNJ staff photo: Benna Sayyed Lee Delk, facilities operations director for Curry County, left, and Steve Henson, maintenance worker for Curry County, construct the community Christmas tree on the Curry County Courthouse lawn. The tree will be illuminated Saturday during the Christmas Light Parade at 6 p.m. and remain on until the second week of January 2012.

Benna Sayyed

Curry County maintenance worker Steve Henson said it takes “a couple of days” to erect the 30-foot-tall community Christmas tree that will dominate the Curry County Courthouse lawn for the next month.

The tree at the corner of Main and West Seventh streets has to be assembled branch by branch on its steel frame. Lastly, the light bulbs are tested and the branches fluffed up.

“Hopefully the tree will bring a little more Christmas spirit to the town,” said Henson, in his third year of bringing the tree to (artificial) life.

Serving as the city’s Christmas focal point, the tree will be officially illuminated 6 p.m. Saturday at the start of the Christmas Light Parade and remain lit until after the first day of the new year.

“As soon as the parade starts up on 14th (Street) they’ll do their ceremony here to light the tree, so we’ve got that done by the time the floats hit about 10th street,” said Lee Delk, facilities operations director for Curry County.

“The tree has always been right here. This is a good corner to put it on.”

The artificial tree was purchased by the city of Clovis, Delk said, with the intention of placing it on the Curry County Courthouse lawn. He said the tree would better exemplify Clovis’ holiday spirit and historical significance at this location.

The tree will be adorned with big Christmas lights and large red ribbons.

“We don’t have a star for the tree yet, but they’ll give us one, one of these days,” Delk said.

Delk said the blue cow sculpture next to tree, part of Delk’s wife Patsy’s Centennial Cows art project, will wear a Santa cap and sleigh bells.

“This tree probably has a 20 to 25 year life expectancy, it’s solid steel frame and everything else. Unless we get another tornado to come through it should last forever,” Delk said.

The tree has been displayed for six years.