Early morning patrons at Fashion Island this week might have caught a glimpse of the background aspect of the holidays. A crew of about eight people spent three hours Wednesday morning erecting the 90-foot white fir tree at Fashion Island after its 18-hour journey from Mount Shasta. The occasion requires cranes, barricades, and extra security to put the tree in place on a 6-inch-long spike that prevents movement in the wind. Now begins the two-week decoration process, so the tree will be ready for the lighting ceremony Nov. 22 and 23 at 6 p.m.
Victor Serrao, president of Victor’s Custom Christmas Trees Inc., has been part of the tree delivery for Fashion Island for about 30 years. “I’m 47, and the first time my parents did this (here), I was riding around on a skateboard.” Serrao took over the business, but it’s still a family-centered endeavor as his wife and a team do the decorating and his kids go with him to select the trees.
“My son usually goes, but he couldn’t this year. I took my daughter, and we’re walking through the forest. You walk miles and miles, see millions of trees. So when you walk out and see one, you’re like ‘Wow, that’s the one!’ And she thought so, too. This is one of the best trees I’ve seen in a long time. It has a great shape. That’s what you look for, so when these guys are adding branches, they can follow the shape,” Serrao said.
See for yourself at the annual tree-lighting ceremony the weekend before Thanksgiving. People can save a spot starting at 7 a.m. for the first-come, first-served seating.