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Tumbleweed Tree taking shape in Chandler

Posted: 9:31 PM, Nov 12, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-13 08:58:51-05

A holiday tradition is slowly taking shape in Chandler as city workers stay busy crafting the Tumbleweed Tree in the heart of downtown.

John Wolfe is a true Tumbleweed Tree enthusiast.

"There are two suppliers we have that produce products from tumbleweeds," said Wolfe, who owns Sibley's West souvenir shop in downtown Chandler.  

His business sits less than 400 feet from the Chandler staple, which has been a cherished tradition since 1957. It takes crews most of the year to collect the 1,000 tumbleweeds needed for the full transformation.

For business owners and longtime residents, it signals more than just a boost in business.

"I was born two miles up the road," said Alejandro Fontes, a sales analyst and event supervisor for San Tan Brewing. "It kind of unites everybody once again and reminds us that there are things that are a little bit bigger than ourselves and our own needs."

It is a welcome shift away from what has been a divisive election season. A time to trade in the political war of words for something a bit lighter, and relish in community and togetherness.

"Family, fun, spirit," said Hannah Brzezinski, assistant manager at Blue Planet Outdoors.

"Even though they're from different backgrounds or different races, or different interests, the neat thing is that they come together for special events like the Tumbleweed Tree lighting," said Wolfe.

The official tree lighting is set for December 1. It is free with events starting at 4:30 p.m. They will flip the switch around 8:00 p.m.