Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

December 5, 2013

Ballardvale's 'smallest tree' lighting is Dec. 8

The Andover Townsman

---- — The annual tree lighting and carol sing on Ballardvale Green is set for Sunday, Dec. 8, at 5 p.m. and once again promises to be an old-fashioned affair.

Several years ago, as most of the town marveled at the massive Christmas tree in Andover’s Brickstone Square, considered to be the tallest in the country, former Town Manager Richard Bowen started a similar tradition on a much smaller scale.

As chairman of the Ballardvale Historic District Commission, Bowen’s intention was to create a communal and holiday-spirited feel in his section of Andover known as Ballardvale.

His dream was embraced and the Ballardvale community in southern Andover has been gathering together early in the holiday season to light its own tree ever since.

The tree is nicknamed the “smallest tree” to draw a humorous comparison to its giant cousin tree at Brickstone, according to Diane Derby, vice chairwoman of the Ballardvale Historic District Commission.

This year’s event on the green at Andover and Center streets will start at 5 p.m. with refreshments, including hot chocolate, cider and treats. The tree lighting will follow.

All are invited to join Ballardvale friends and neighbors in the lighting of the “smallest tree” and a carol sing. People are reminded to dress warmly and bring their singing voices and holiday spirit. Dogs on leashes are welcome to join in the fun.