Darby O’Donnell ‘22, Entertainment Editor
This time of year, it comes time to be festive, spend time with family, and spread joy to loved ones. Few know that more than Jeff Heinanen, the owner of the local Heinanen Engineering. Heinanen brought his childhood dream to life last year by lighting a massive tree right in the middle of downtown South Lyon.
Growing up here, Heinanen had imagined a group of people coming together to put up a huge Christmas tree– something he had seen in his grandmother’s Norman Rockwell calendar. Last year, he turned this dream into a reality.
With the support of his family and staff, Heinanen was able to light a 67-foot, blue spruce tree directly in front of the Heinanen Engineering building. The amount of planning and work that went into this tree was no joke, either. Heinanen bought the building three years ago, and in preparation for the tree, designed a 17-foot deep holder of cast-iron pipe that rests under several feet of concrete in what used to be the company parking lot.
According to Heinanen, the tree brought people together just as he had imagined it would. He was even able to find a crane operator willing to donate the spruce to the company in exchange for being recruited to deliver and set it up.
Sophomore Allison Blossfeld said, “It’s always nice to hear that people in the community are coming together for a cause. I think the tree is a pretty good cause.”
Many South Lyon residents have expressed excitement for the tree lighting in 2019, especially considering the success of last year. Junior Kendra Ebel said, “I’m looking forward to seeing the tree all lit up for Christmas this year. It was really cool to see it last year, and I think it’ll be just as cool this year.”
This event will take place on Dec. 7, where festivities will kick off at 10 a.m. and the tree lighting will be at 6:30 p.m.. The Cool Yule Parade will begin at 5:30 p.m., and buildings will be open until 8:30 p.m..
Because of the success from last year and the excitement surrounding the event this year, many families and friends are expected to attend and support the tree lighting. Even those who do not plan on attending this year are looking forward to seeing the tree in town. Freshman Bailey Lofiego said, “I think the tree is a beautiful addition to our city, and it brings people from South Lyon together.”
The massive tree in South Lyon has proved to connect families and friends in the past, and in 2019 the same holiday tradition is sure to deliver the Christmas spirit to many. This year, attendees of the Cool Yule Tree Lighting Ceremony can see how one man’s childhood dream of a community coming together to build a ginormous Christmas tree became a reality, and hopefully spread a little Christmas cheer themselves.
Photo courtesy of Andrew Brenner