‘More than a festive decoration’: Desert Color Christmas tree serves as symbol of light, hope, community

Volunteers were among the many who assisted with the construction of the Desert Color Christmas tree, Dec. 1, 2023 | Photo courtesy of Tina Pierson, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — When someone’s vision comes to light, they want to share it.

Holiday lights adorn the drive-up to the Desert Color community, Dec. 1, 2023 | Photo courtesy of Tina Pierson, St. George News

And this time of year, Tina Pierson and the Desert Color community are sharing literally thousands of lights, decorations and Christmas joy by way of a tree which, while artificial, is bringing the spirit of the season to life.

At 40 feet tall and 30 feet in diameter, “This tree holds significance for us, symbolizing hope, remembrance and community strength.”

These words come from “The Tribute to the Tree,” which Pierson, who serves as Desert Color’s lifestyle director, wrote and shared with St. George News. She also explained what is at the heart of something more than a temporary decoration.

The majestic presence of the tree stands as a testament to the resilience of unity within our community,” the tribute says. “Its branches reflect the bold connections we share as friends and neighbors. This tree is more than just a festive decoration; it is a shining representation of collective strength and each member of our community that together creates a beautiful tapestry of support and understanding.”

The Desert Color Christmas tree stands 40 feet high and 30 feet in diameter, and the star on top measures 4-by-4 feet, Dec. 1, 2023 | Photo courtesy of Tina Pierson, St. George News

The tree was illuminated at a Dec. 1 ceremony, and the effort leading up to its unveiling involved coordination between Pierson, community volunteers and several business contacts.

“This tree has a metal frame with six different sections,” Pierson said. “It requires a crane to lift the sections onto the base of the tree. We also hire Apex Tree Professionals to help with the setup. They bring in a boom lift and work on the outside of the tree as well as use climbing gear to climb up the inside of the tree.”

No tree is complete unless it is properly lighted. And this one is adorned by thousands of lights … “too many to count,” Pierson said.

A complex course of cables runs throughout the interior of the tree, and at the base is a small door that allows the maintenance team to maintain the lighting system.

Because this is no ordinary tree, Pierson said the star on top would require special consideration. She and her husband Gared designed the six-sided, 4-by-4-foot sparkling symbol.

“We drew some plans and sent them to Kade Cox of Black Iron Customs in Cedar City,” Pierson said. “Kade, a welding fabricator, brought our vision to life and created this impressive star from 1-inch square aluminum tubing. Once we got the star to its new home, we wrapped it with about 130 feet of lights.”

And according to the “Tribute to the Tree,” the star has an even deeper meaning:

“The star atop the tree reaches towards the heavens, spreading light, embodying the enduring spirit of those we hold dear but cannot be with during the holiday season. It becomes a beacon, shining in honor of our absent loved ones.” 

A lift was required to place the star on top of the Desert Color Christmas tree, Dec. 1, 2023 | Photo courtesy of Tina Pierson, St. George News

While Desert Color is a private community, Pierson said the public is welcome to view decorations and the tree, which is located at 820 W. Akoya Pearl St. in St. George. Those who visit can drive along Lagoon Drive and park near the pickleball courts.

The tree is a temporary monument, Pierson said, but the hope is that its deeper meaning will remind people throughout the year that the spirit of the season should remain.

“As the seasons change throughout the year, let the tree be a perpetual reminder for us to strive for a better community – one where friendships flourish, care for one another prevails and generosity is our way of life. Each glance at this tree should inspire our commitment to making a positive impact contributing to the well-being of our community in unique and meaningful ways.

“On this special occasion, we express our gratitude to the association and each individual who played a role in bringing this symbolic tree to life. It serves as a reminder that, even in the face of challenges, our community can stand tall and shine brightly when we come together in that spirit of friendship, care and giving. Thank you for fostering a sense of warmth and togetherness that extends far beyond the holiday season.”

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2023, all rights reserved.

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