What goes up, must come down – especially if you're a 100-foot Christmas tree in the center of a city.
Seen from miles away, Delray Beach's colossal tree took 350 people 30 days to build. That included the use of a crane, a steel crew, six electricians, two miles of electrical wire, 15,500 LED lights and almost 40,000 ornaments.
"There's a lot of care to make sure everything is perfect when you're putting it up," said Sarah Martin, executive director of the Delray Beach Marketing Cooperative. But when taking it down, "it's much shorter."
Martin says it takes seven days and requires 300 people to remove each of the tree's 3,086 branches. There's also putting away the 18-foot star and dismantling the custom-built Santa house inside the tree.
"Things look a little bare once it's down. It's kind of sad to see it go," said
For other cities, the task is not as great.
Most cities will start cleaning up after the New Year. And though it marks the end of the season, Martin says for her, "it's somewhat celebratory."
"It takes a lot of community effort … when you get to the end of it, it's more of like 'Wow, we did it,'" she said.
For those with real trees, you can drop your tree off at Broward's Chip-A-Tree program that recycles your tree into mulch. For a list of locations, visit http://www.sunsentinel.com/chipatree.