San Antonians Protest Alamo Christmas Tree Relocation with Mini-Tree Display

by

ALEX ZIELINSKI
  • Alex Zielinski
An estimated 5,000 San Antonians flocked downtown Friday night to watch the city light a towering Christmas tree. But unlike the past 36 years the event's taken place, the Nov. 24 ceremony did not have the rustic Alamo as a backdrop. This year, the 55-foot tree was moved a few blocks north to Travis Park, standing in the space recently occupied by a Confederate monument.

For die-hard Alamo fans and general traditionalists — this decision was a serious blow. "It's tradition to take family photos beside the tree in front of the Alamo," appears to be the leading complaint from Facebook groups that oppose the relocation.

In response, Travis Park naysayers have come up with a remarkably adorable protest: Set up dozens of tiny Christmas trees in Alamo Plaza.

The idea came from Steve Monreal, a dejected Hard Rock Cafe staffer (reeling from the double blow of loosing the Alamo Christmas tree and Eddie Van Halen's guitar). He was the first to set up a mini decorated tree in front of the Alamo last week. Now, there's a cluster of about five little trees in Alamo Plaza, donated by different people. And by Saturday, Dec. 2, there's expected to be more than one hundred trees (no higher than 3 feet) filling the park.

According to the Express-News, Gina Castaneda has partnered with Monreal to host a miniature tree-lighting ceremony in Alamo Place this Saturday at 1 p.m.

On Monday morning, the tiny five-tree posse watched as city workers set up the promised, 18-foot Christmas tree in Alamo Plaza — the city's apparent solution to tree critics.

That tree won't be getting the same kind of lighting ceremony as the Travis Park giant, a decision that's also irked fans of the Alamo tree tradition. This is Texas Freedom Force, the pro-Confederate group who rallied this summer to oppose the city's removal of Travis Park's Confederate monument, has taken it upon themselves to host their own Alamo tree-lighting celebration on Saturday, Dec. 16th.

It's unknown if the city has approved either of these rogue tree-lighting events.


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