Chicago Christmas Tree Has Been Destroyed Every Year Since It Started
A Christmas celebration in one Chicago neighborhood has gotten to a point where there are two parts to the tradition: Lighting the park's tree as a community, and seeing how long it takes for someone to destroy it.
The Washington Park Chamber of Commerce has hosted the lighting of a Christmas tree at Garfield Boulevard and Martin Luther King Drive every year since 2019. For three years, the community gathers together to celebrate the decorations and holiday.
And, for three years, the tree has been destroyed shortly after the ceremony.
In 2019, not long after the ceremony, someone drove their car through the display, leaving a trail of vehicle pieces behind at the scene.
Then, in 2020, a banner was ripped off of the tree. It was repaired, but right after Christmas, someone burned the tree down.
This year, one would assume things would be different. However, early in the morning after the lighting ceremony, the tree burst into flames.
Video has been shared of the tree, but the video is too poor of quality to see how or who set the tree on fire.
Chicago police spokesman Thomas Ahern said a gasoline canister was found at the scene. Chicago Police Department's bomb & arson unit is investigating both this incident and the incident from 2020 as arson cases.
“It’s an attack on our community, and it’s unfortunate that the incidents keep happening, and they have not been able to apprehend anyone,” Washington Park Chamber of Commerce CEO Donna Hampton-Smith said.
The chamber was forced to remove the charred remains of the tree.
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