Landing Christmas Tree Will Live On At Hemming Park This Holiday Season

Nov 13, 2019

Although The Jacksonville Landing is being demolished, one decades-old holiday tradition from the riverfront marketplace will live on.

The Christmas tree that was lit at the Landing for the last 32 years will adorn Hemming Park this holiday season.

The plan to continue the tradition was announced last month but additional details were revealed by Mayor Lenny Curry's Office Tuesday.

This year, the city's lighting ceremony will be at 6:25 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 4, during the monthly First Wednesday Downtown Art Walk.

The 56-foot tree is covered in more than 78,000 LED lights. The Sleiman family donated the tree in honor Eli Sr. and Josephine Sleiman.  The Landing was owned by Sleiman Enterprises Inc.

The Mayor’s Open House at City Hall will also be held that evening, with activities for children in the seasonally decorated atrium and refreshments served in the Mayor’s Office on the 4th Floor, according to Downtown Vision.

Downtown Vision is also working on additional holiday-themed festivities for the evening.

Christmas In the Cathedral District, also Dec. 4, will offer tours of the historic churches in the Cathedral District between 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. as well as a Bethlehem Marketplace with handmade crafts and a live nativity scene and petting zoo at St. Johns Episcopal Cathedral at 256 E. Church St. 

Meanwhile, demolition work continues at the Landing. A demolition permit was issued last week for D.H. Griffin Wrecking Co. Inc. to tear down Downtown's former prime holiday gathering spot.

D.H. Griffin has until May 28 to demolish the two-story, 56-foot-tall structure at a cost of $1,074,002, according to WJCT News partner the Jacksonville Daily Record.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

Photo used under Creative Commons license.