A new Merry Main Street Christmas Tree was erected today in downtown Mesa after the original four-story tree was destroyed in a fire last week.
The Merry Main Street Christmas Tree is sponsored by the Mesa Chamber of Commerce and more than a dozen private businesses helped purchase the original $40,000 tree in 2015.
Mesa Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Sally Harrison said the community has really stepped up so far to help meet the goal to raise the $40,000 needed for the new tree installed today.
“We are about $10,000 away from our goal,” Harrison said today.
Those individuals and organizations interested in donating can go to the Mesa Chamber’s website at www.mesachamber.org and click on the button for donating to the tree.
As for what happened to the old tree, Mesa police say 34-year-old Samuel Antone Johnson was found nearby and allegedly admitted to setting the tree on fire with a book of matches around 2:30 a.m. on Dec. 13. Police say the man did not disclose a motive.
Merry Main Street will continue with the Winter Wonderland Ice Rink, which is open daily through Jan. 5 except Christmas day; the Mesa Christmas Market located on Macdonald and open this weekend; photos with Santa and the city’s trackless train, Main Street Express. For a complete list of Merry Main Street activities, visit www.merrymainst.com.
– Kelly Mixer is managing editor of MyNewsMesa.com. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.