The Central Lakeview Merchants Association put out the more than 600 Christmas trees for a second year in a row. The trees, for the most part, have no lights or decorations, leading to a mixed reaction from residents: While some found the trees festive, other residents called them "sad, hulking" pee targets.
So this year, Thomas launched the "Naked Tree Contest."
"I walked out the door a year ago and saw these naked trees and thought, 'These make no sense,'" Thomas said. "I thought, 'What can we do to make this more festive?' My wife and I went out on the street and decorated the tree near our place, and then people on our block started decorating their trees."
The shop is asking residents to decorate a tree on their street, take a photo, then post it on the Alley's Facebook page. After Facebook fans vote for their favorite trees, the winner will get a $250 gift card to the shop.
"Since [the Central Lakeview Merchants Association] decided to spend money on the trees a second year in a row, we figured this contest would be a good way to get more residents involved in making the trees more festive," Thomas said.
The Merchants Association executive director Gus Isacson welcomed the freelance tree trimming. He said nearly 30 of the trees this year and last were decorated by local businesses.
"Our goal with the trees was to make it a winter wonderland and be respectful to all religious beliefs," Isacson said. "If Lakeview residents are decorating the trees that's wonderful."
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