It's not Christmas in La Cañada until the Crescenta-Cañada YMCA parking lot is covered in pine needles.
The local Y has been selling Christmas trees during the holiday season since 1965, with this year marking the tradition's 45th year.
"We always look forward to it," said Kim Beattie, the director of communications and public relations at the Crescenta-Cañada YMCA. "It's a family event and a lot people come out with their entire families to pick out a tree."
The local Y, located at 1930 Foothill Blvd., will transform its parking lot to a Christmas tree lot that will open on Friday. Carolers from La Cañada High School's choral department will be on hand Friday to serenade the customers.
"From a staff perspective, I'm excited because that's what we love to see — kids being nurtured," Beattie said. "It's just really a fun time of the year."
The Christmas-tree sale is the local Y's second largest fundraiser of the year. Approximately $50,000 was raised from the sale last year. Hopes are more than 1,500 trees will be sold this year to reach that mark again, Beattie said.
Trees range in quality and price, from $25 to $200, Beattie said. There will also be wreaths and garlands for sale.
Kids from the Y's Youth and Government program volunteer to help the fundraiser run smoothly. Money generated from the event primarily goes toward the YMCA's youth programs, including Youth and Government and the Y's Model United Nations program.
All of the Christmas trees sold at the local facility come from Northern California. They are purchased from a supplier who was once the chief executive of the Glendale YMCA.
"Staff will go daily, as needed, to pick up the trees and bring them in," Beattie said. "They first pick them up on Wednesday."
Beattie realizes the fact that the trees take up a large part of the parking lot doesn't necessarily make for a merry experience for some YMCA regulars.
"We do have some members who get concerned about parking and we hope they understand how important this is for these kids and our mission," Beattie said. "We've been proud to have sustained and be supported for all these years."