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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Christmas Tree Lane in Louisville continues Haymarket downtown greenery tradition

The 10th Annual Christmas Tree Lane will open for business Friday, Nov. 29, and Louisvillians can enjoy the continuing tradition of purchasing their Christmas Trees downtown at Louisville Waterfront Park.
Local vendors Tommy Thompson and Gary Jecker look forward to another very successful year selling a wide variety of trees, wreaths and other holiday greenery. Christmas Tree Lane remains easily accessible and convenient for patrons, with competitive pricing in the tradition of the Haymarket.

Both vendors were formerly located at the Haymarket. Louisville Medical Center Development Corporation purchased the Haymarket property in 2003, and at that time a longstanding Louisville tradition of purchasing trees downtown was momentarily displaced.
The Louisville Waterfront Development Corporation met with vendors in 2003 when news of the Haymarket closing surfaced. There was such an interest in continuing the tradition of purchasing holiday trees downtown, both from the public and the actual vendors that WDC made space available and the market was relocated to Witherspoon Street the very next season.
“We have already been getting phone calls asking when Christmas Tree Lane will open,” said Ashley Smith, event manager at Waterfront Park. “The Christmas tree and greenery sales really add to the festive atmosphere. We love having them here,” said Ashley Smith, events manager at Waterfront Park.
The two vendors at Christmas Tree Lane have a combination of over 90 years of experience. Gary Jecker has operated his family Christmas tree business for over 30 years. His sons help him sell Frazier Fir from North Carolina, and both White and Scotch Pine that he grows locally. Gary also carries White Pine roping and Frazier Fir Wreaths.
“Many people remember Fred Wiche, and he claimed that Frazier Firs are the Cadillac of Christmas Trees,” said Jecker. “Well, we agree and that is why we sell them.”
Tommy Thompson operates his family business that is over 50 years old; his father started selling Christmas Trees in the 1950s. Tommy Thompson’s market was the largest market at the Haymarket.
He has a wide variety of both large and small trees including Frazier Fir, Balsam Fir, Douglass Fir, Cork Bark Fir, White Pine, Scotch Pine and a wide variety of wreaths that vary in size from 13 up to 36 inches. Tommy also sells more White Pine and Frazier Fir garland than anyone else in the state.
Christmas Tree Lane is located along both sides of Witherspoon Street between Floyd Street and Preston (near Slugger Field). The vendors are open daily through Christmas Eve between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.
Free parking is available for customers along Witherspoon Street, in the Green Parking Lot at Waterfront Park (underneath 1-64 overpass near corner of River Road and Preston), and in the surface parking lot across from the Great Lawn.
From Louisville Waterfront Development Corporation