White Center community Christmas tree is up, with lighting planned for Wednesday

(Photos by Deanie Schwarz for White Center Now/West Seattle Blog)
As White Center Chamber of Commerce president Mark Ufkes promised during last Wednesday’s Chamber holiday luncheon (WCN coverage here), the first community Christmas tree in a very long time went up this morning in the Delridge Triangle – and a lighting ceremony is now planned for this Wednesday. White Center Now was there to get photos as lots of volunteers made it happen:

More about them, the tree, and the lighting, in this news release just sent by the WC Chamber:

The White Center Chamber of Commerce, working in partnership with many White Center businesses and families, installed the first White Center Christmas tree in decades in Seattle’s Triangle Park, on the corner of Roxbury, 16th Ave. SW, and Delridge. The Chamber will install a tree annually as a result of the positive community response to this effort.

The idea came from a Chamber discussion about encouraging White Center businesses to install Christmas lights in their windows during the holiday season. Vary Jackson, King County Sheriff Community Service Officer (CSO), suggested that a Christmas tree would look great at the park. Mac McElroy, owner of Mac’s Triangle Pub and a Chamber board member, expressed a need to secure lighting for the American flag on the park flag pole that was installed by the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Mac, who is also a vet, has been raising his personal American flag on the pole for several years. American flags flown at night must be lit, so Mac has been eager to solve this issue as well.

Seattle City Light and the Seattle Department of Transportation that owns the land, have been working to resolve the access to electricity issue. White Center Chamber member McLendon Hardware (Sandy Vaughn, manager) donated $250 in Christmas lights. A White Center Buddhist family (Many, Merda and Budd Chhim) donated a beautiful 22-foot Northern pine tree from their backyard “to bring good karma to White Center.” White Center attorney Dennis Pflug and resident Jimie Martin arranged to have the tree professionally cut down. Boy Scout Troop 375, with scouts from White Center, Burien and West Seattle helped install the tree with help from the King County Department of Corrections crew.

Due to the severe rain predicted through Tuesday, December 14, the official lighting for the tree will occur at 7 pm, on Wednesday night, December 15, by White Center Chamber of Commerce members.

Note the tree’s not the only new sign of holiday cheer in the Triangle’s little park:

Meantime, more information from contributor Deanie Schwarz on the power issue, affecting both the tree and the veterans’ memorial:

Ufkes says lights will be turned on soon, hopefully only temporarily, by borrowing power,perhaps from the Triangle Pub, until the responsible agency either repairs the failed fixture on the flag pole and/or a breaker is found, or both. Normally, City light poles have identifying serial numbers located near two horizontal black bands, but somewhere along the installation process years ago, this island was not assigned an ID. Or if it was assigned some other way to track it, it ostensibly has been lost. It is not a standard streetlight, but rather a lit flagpole. Whether that is the reason no department or agency has yet found any reliable data on a city installation or its maintenance remains a bit of a mystery.

According to Mac, owner of Mac’s Triangle Pub and a Navy veteran, and Ufkes, there are few places which are even allowed to fly a flag unlit in the entire country. Beyond providing an exterior power source for the community’s future use, both are hopeful that the city repairs the flagpole power to bring it into compliance with long-standing, national, flag-displaying codes and traditions for year-round honoring of the Stars and Stripes in White Center.

Again, the tree lighting is set for Wednesday – see you there!


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3 Responses to “White Center community Christmas tree is up, with lighting planned for Wednesday”

  1. Ya this was a nice thing to have our very own Christmas tree in White Center were we all can see it .




  2. Nice job!


  3. It was a lot of fun to watch the community tree go up on Saturday. It is things like a Christmas Tree Lighting that help bring our community together.