Reading Goes With Fake Tree To Avoid ‘Charlie Brown’ Fiasco

READING, Pa. (AP) – An eastern Pennsylvania mayor has reluctantly signed off on a plan to erect a 35-foot tall artificial tree in order to avoid a “Charlie Brown” Christmas tree controversy like one that erupted two years ago.

The Reading Eagle reports Mayor Wally Scott is a fan of natural trees, but wanted to avoid the stir caused when Reading city workers erected a scraggly real tree two years ago. The tree was first ridiculed then embraced by residents, which reminded fans and critics of the scrawny tree featured in “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

The artificial tree will boast 1,250 ornaments, more than 1,900 lights and a 5-foot star.

The FirstEnergy Foundation is donating $17,000 with the Downtown Improvement District paying the rest, nearly $4,400.

The tree should last 15 to 20 years.

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