Mother Nature Takes Out Christmas Tree In Front Of Bentonville Ice Rink

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KFSM) — Strong winds from Tuesday's (Nov. 26) storm broke the artificial Christmas tree standing at the entrance of Lawrence Plaza.

When Bentonville's Parks and Recreation team went out to clean up, branches and pieces of the tree were scattered all over the place. The powerful storm even damaged the reinforcements set in place to prevent this type of incident from happening.

"Well, as the wind started blowing last night, the tree started pushing, and the frame of the tree started bending. And so as the frame bent, the ratchet straps got loose and then at that point it allowed the tree to go ahead and completely fall over," said Crant Osborne, Parks Operations Manager for Bentonville Parks and Recreation.

The tree had been with the city for 2-3 years. The Parks and Rec department is making plans to replace the Christmas time hallmark.

"We'd love to have another tree in its place if that's possible, and stay within a reasonable budget," Osborne said.

He did express concerns about where to find a tree in such a short time.

"We might have to have expedited shipping because we most likely will not be able to get one locally, so we would have to get one from somewhere outside the area," said the Parks Operations Manager.

With just four weeks until Christmas, some of those who enjoy the Bentonville Square and its activities say the timing is unfortunate.

"That's kind of sad because then there's no tree to take pictures in front of as the holidays come around, Thanksgiving being tomorrow and Christmas coming soon," said Adam Rieken, who was at the Lawrence Plaza ice skating.

As for the other decorations, things looked to be in place. The storm seemed to focus solely on the one tree ready to withstand the conditions.

After being up since Saturday's (Nov. 23) opening lighting, the short stay is disappointing, but the holiday spirit must go on. Osborne stays optimistic after realizing it could have been worse.

"I was afraid that we would have a lot of damage from that. Maybe some broken limbs out of trees or whatever, but luckily, we did not have that," said Osborne.

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