Magic Tree likely to remain in new location

Thursday, January 6, 2011 | 4:17 p.m. CST; updated 9:32 p.m. CST, Thursday, January 6, 2011

COLUMBIA — The Magic Tree might have found its permanent home in the Village of Cherry Hill.

"I think the new location accommodates more people," tree-lighter Randy Fletcher said. "I think it's a good move; there was a lot of positive feedback."


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This is the second year a decorated tree has been located on the corner of Jubilee Street and Corona Road, but this year it was the official Magic Tree.

Andrew Stone, optometrist and member of the Cherry Hill Business Association, said that though no official decision has been made, the association would definitely consider Cherry Hill to be the tree's permanent home. 

"It has been a wonderful thing, and many businesses benefited from it," Stone said.

Stacy Stringer, office assistant at Advanced Vision, agreed that the location of the Magic Tree was a good thing for business.

"The night the tree was lit definitely brought in more customers," Stringer said. "It was the plus of December."

Kostaki's Pizzeria saw an increase of more than 100 percent in sales the week of Christmas this year compared with last year, said brand manager David Thompson. 

Fletcher said there are already plans for improving the tree's display next year. 

The Magic Tree was traditionally decorated in front of Fletcher's home at 303 Hickam Drive. This year, though, Fletcher decorated a very small, young crab apple tree in his yard.

"I put 1,000 lights on this one. I didn't want it to get a lot of attention," Fletcher said.

Fletcher said he missed having the big, lit tree right outside his window, but it is much easier without it.

Fletcher has received many positive comments from people about the tree.

"I've had a number of comments from people saying it's too bad you've moved the tree and the tree is much smaller, but we've had a lot of positive feedback as well," Fletcher said. "While there may have been some initial disappointment, people were pleased that the Magic Tree still exists and like the display."

Thursday is the last night the tree will be lit until next year.

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Jason Entermyer January 7, 2011 | 12:23 p.m.

It was a definite plus having it at Cherry Hill. Our family was able to take a photo near the tree which would never have been possible (or least difficult) to do when it was in front of Fletcher's home. We drove by again on Christmas Eve and I'll bet there were 15 families all taking photos and walking around the tree. Plus, we never would have sampled Kostaski's pizza if it wasn't for the tree! Now we have a regular pizza place.

(Report Comment)
Bill Fisher January 7, 2011 | 2:23 p.m.

I fully understand why the tree has been moved, but it's lost the magic of the original location. Also, with the street lights that surround Cherry Hill, it seems to glow a lot less brightly. I'll miss the old location, but I won't miss trying to drive down that narrow road w/ all the traffic.

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