A multitude of people are responsible for bringing Christmas to the corner of Capitol and Main in downtown Little Rock this year. The parking lot near the intersection, a short distance away from Samantha’s Tap Room & Wood Grill at 322 Main St., is the location of the holiday tree. “Downtown Little Rock’s first Christmas tree is a labor of love,” says Chris Tanner, owner of Cheers in the Heights and Samantha’s.
Tanner spearheaded the effort to get the tree to town. The tree is decked out in multicolored LED lights and has a topper crafted by Arkansas artist and glassblower James Hayes. Howard Hurst of Tipton & Hurst also played a role in getting the tree from the West Coast to central Arkansas. The massive Main Street tree was helicopter harvested from a forest hillside on the Washington-Oregon border, and placed on a truck with trees destined for the Capital Hotel and the Country Club of Little Rock.
“Once the tree arrived it was lifted from the truck with a crane donated by Mooney Crane Service and the tree was placed in a 6-foot steel tube that has been buried at Capitol and Main,” Tanner says. The tube was designed, built and donated by Patrick Schueck of Lexicon, Inc. The lift was donated by Robert Hall of Hugg and Hall. All costs associated with the tree have been covered by private donations.
After the holiday season, the trees will be cut into sections and donated to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, where they’ll be used to create fish habitats. To learn more about the Christmas tree on Main Street, visit aymag.com/tag/bright-the-night/.