It’s beginning to look a bit like Christmas at the Boy Scout troop 6064 tree sale on South Douglas Highway.
There, between the Kentucky Fried Chicken and the Burger King, 400 or more balsam firs from Minnesota wait in the dirt lot for new owners who will take them home.
It’s an annual tradition for the Scouts, who use the proceeds from the sale to help with summer activities.
Last year, Christmas tree money knocked $100 off the price of each Scout’s trip to Camp Buffalo Bill so that they only had to pay $10 each.
They earn that money by putting in shifts at the lot, splitting their time between the heated trailer and going outside to help people choose their trees and load them.
Thursday night, it was 11-year-old Joshua Van De Car and 12-year-old Alex Antonovich, joined by Van De Car’s dad, Peter, and Antonovich’s 18-year-old brother, Jarod.
When there were no customers, they did homework assignments inside the trailer. When some folks did arrive, they came out to help.
Anthony Nold showed up with his wife and daughter and a tape measure clipped to his hip in order to meter out a tree of his liking.
The trees range from 4 feet to 12 feet, arranged in bunches on the lot and filling the cold air with the crisp scent of their needles.
A Christmas tree would be the thing to bring the holiday feeling into his family’s new home, after they arrived back to town from Alaska.
It certainly looked like the season everywhere else, to the decorations around town to the carols he hears in stores.
“It felt like Christmas right after Thanksgiving,” Nold said. The part about a white Christmas might take some patience though. The last snowfall had melted onto the dirt lot and more won’t arrive until later this week.
“A little bit of snow would be handy instead of mud,” he said.
The Boy Scouts had the procedure nailed down.
They took up the tree and hoisted it up to a ruler mounted on the trailer. It’s $50 for the 6-foot tree.
Jarod Antonovich cut the base of the tree with an electric saw. That and holes drilled around the base will make it easier for the tree to suck up water and stay green longer.
After the preparations, Joshua Van De Car grabbed hold of it, and walked it over to Nold’s vehicle. If it had been a car, they would have tied it to the roof with twine. In this case, Van De Car just threw it on the truck bed.
Another tree went to a home, and the group headed back to the trailer to wait for the next customer.
If you go
When: It’s open from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Dec. 22, assuming there are still trees on the lot at that point.
Where: The lot between Kentucky Fried Chicken and Burger King on South Douglas Highway.
Prices: Prices are based on height. A 4-foot tree costs $30 and a 6 foot tree is $50.