Bolling Road Christmas Tree


Tree Location


Charlotte, NC 28207

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In the late 1950s, the residents of Bolling Road, led by Mae Hope, decided to celebrate the holidays in their own way.  The neighbor’s came together and planted a ‘teeny’ Norway spruce in the circle at the end of their street.  That year the spruce was so small that ornaments hung from it would have pulled the tree over, so the residents of the street placed wooden ornaments around the little sapling.  One evening before Christmas day Bolling Road resident, Mr. Edwards, dressed in full as a lamp-lighter, marched the neighborhood children from the top of Bolling Road, singing carols, down to the tree.  In every yard they would stop and light a candle.  After singing carols around their little tree, the children were invited back to Mrs. Hope’s house where they were greeted by Santa Claus, and each given a gift.  Neighbors then met around a bonfire by the tree to sing and celebrate the season with their family and friends. 

The Bolling Road Christmas tree is a time honored tradition that continues to this day.  Revelers, who were once child participants, return every year with their children and grandchildren to make the joyous illuminated march down to the neighborhood Christmas tree.   The little tree planted in the 50s is now 50ft tall and a fixture of the street.  A portion on the back side of the tree was damaged during hurricane Hugo, but as one neighbor said “we don’t look at that side any way.”  While in the past, most of the celebrations took place in the street, today a few neighbors volunteer to host the holiday party in their homes.  But singing carols around the tree with the children is still the main evening event. 

On a sad note, this tree, steeped in local Charlotte history, is scheduled to fall victim to city sewer water improvements some time in 2013 or 2014.  The area the tree has grown in, for the past 50+ years, needs to be excavated as part of the improvement plan.  We can only hope that plans can be changed to save this Jewel of the Queen’s Crown.  Even if the tree should be felled there is no doubt the residents of Bolling Road will replant their living Christmas tree, and carry on with their decades old tradition.

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