Five reasons to love Magic Tree

Every year, the “Magic Tree” takes CoMo by storm, symbolizing the holiday season and CoMo tradition.

By Amanda Battmer | Nov. 15, 2015

Tags: Downtown Columbia Magic Tree


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Ahh, yes, the locally adored Magic Tree has made its way into our hearts once again. The tree brings the Columbia community together every year, attracting visitors from all over mid-Missouri. This CoMo tradition lives up to its hype for all the right reasons, besides serving as a prime Instagram photo-op.

1) Magic Tree is an object of 20 years of tradition. Its holiday debut was in 1995, marking this season as a big anniversary. Columbia resident Will Treelighter started wrapping thousands of miniature lights around every branch of the tree in his front yard, and the project has only grown ever since.

2) This year, the forest heartthrob will steal the hearts of locals in a new location because of construction. The original tree is still at its usual location in the Village of Cherry Hill, with the official lighting taking place at 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3. You can find a second Magic Tree, however, in front of Commerce Bank at Ninth Street and Broadway, instead of its usual spot in front of Shakespeare’s.

3) The project is based on spiritual ideals. Treelighter (also known as Randy Fletcher) envisions the Magic Tree as a representation of universal truths, such as “beauty is the signature of love.” He promotes these ideals through the use of flyers, which also represent his nontraditional beliefs such as that in a “world teacher,” an interfaith figure embodying goodness and love.

4) The tree serves as a “senseless act of beauty” for both college kids and families. Magic Tree aims to be something everyone can truly enjoy. It is pointed out on its website that beauty has a powerful way of influencing our lives, along with conveying hope, goodness, peace and love.

5) Magic Tree brings the community together. Fletcher kept up his efforts with the original project thanks to local support, and today much of the project’s promotion is funded by the community. Fletcher hopes the lighting will bring to others the same joyous feeling he gets from beautiful scenes in nature.

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