HAGERSTOWN, Md. (DC News Now) — For Hagerstown residents, the downtown Christmas tree lighting is a beloved tradition. But with this tradition comes a heartwarming story behind this year’s tree.
Joanne King has called Hagerstown home for almost 70 years. Her husband died in 2005.
“He was a city councilman, he loved his job, he was a people person and he was born and raised in Hagerstown,” King said. “Almost all his family lives in Hagerstown, and I’ve had it in the back of my mind for several years and at some point, I hope I can get that tree donated in his memory.”
Since her husband’s death, King has tended to a tree, helping it grow so that one day it could be the downtown Christmas tree.
“It got big enough, I had it fertilized, I had it sprayed, I took good care of it so it would be useful,” King explained.
Coordinator with the Department of Community and Economic Development, Rachel Paul, said King is “grateful” to have her tree standing tall in the city.
“I think the residents of the community are going to be so happy to see a transplant who came here, lived her life here and is giving back to the community,” Paul said.
King hopes that once the tree is lit, it can be a focal point for the community throughout the holiday season.
“I still see the space where it was, but I’m so glad, so happy, I’m honored that the city has taken the tree and is using it as I wanted to use it for my husband,” King said.
The downtown tree will officially be lit on Nov. 18 at 5 p.m.