Lonely Planet Writer

Pennsylvania city’s ‘ugly’ Christmas tree hoping to draw tourists

Reading's Christmas tree is nothing like this one in NYC's Rockefeller Center.
Reading’s Christmas tree is nothing like this one in NYC’s Rockefeller Center. Image by Marianne O’Leary / CC BY 2.0

Lambasted as ‘sad’, ‘ugly’ and ‘an embarrassment’, the 50-ft Christmas tree put up in the city of Reading, Pennsylvania has been derided far and wide on the internet and by residents of the town, but it will see the holiday season through. The straggly Norwood spruce – also known as the Charlie Brown tree – has lost a lot of its branches and is decorated with a single string of lights. It was due to be replaced with a bushier, better tree but the city council have had a change of heart since the tree has gained so much notoriety, it has become a draw for visitors to the town.  ‘We will keep this thing here and we will call it the ‘ugly tree’ that everyone and national television is calling it, and we’re going to see it as an opportunity to bring people to downtown Reading,’ one city councillor said. Read more: cnn.com