It’s a signal that the holidays are in full swing when the Christmas tree in front of Santa Barbara’s Arlington Theatre goes up, and that tradition will stay intact, despite a scare that the tree might not take its usual place on State Street this year.
Rumors had been circulating that SCE was considering withdrawing its funding of the tree, at a cost of $35,000 for the 45-foot fir tree, transportation and installation.
But on Monday, Southern California Edison officials said they would come through this year.
“Southern California Edison is working diligently with the Santa Barbara Downtown Organization to get a Christmas tree by next Friday for the Holiday Parade,” according to a statement from Patricia Bartoli-Wible, SCE’s local public affairs region manager.
“This tree will be coming from our Shaver Lake facilities next week, unless there is inclement weather which would present hazardous and unsafe conditions for our drivers.”
The tree is expected to arrive on State Street at 8 a.m. next Tuesday and be installed from 8:30 to 10 a.m. The official lighting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30.
Local media picked up on the story last week, and Hotchkiss said “Southern California Edison got the message.”
“We can’t do this forever, and next year we’ll have to find sponsors, but for now, it’s a wonderful resolution for the holiday,” he told Noozhawk.