Joliet’s holiday tree now towering in Van Buren Plaza

Sometimes you get when you give.

Roy Fronek of Joliet stands by while city crews remove a 37-year-old pine from his yard on Taylor Street. The tree will be strung with lights and will shine for the first time at the city’s annual Light Up the Holidays Festival and Parade on Nov. 29.

Roy Fronek of Joliet stands by while city crews remove a 37-year-old pine from his yard on Taylor Street. The tree will be strung with lights and will shine for the first time at the city’s annual Light Up the Holidays Festival and Parade on Nov. 29.

Last Friday, Ray Fronek humbly gave up a 37-year-old pine tree from his Taylor Street residence so that everyone in Joliet can enjoy the colors and wonder of the holidays.

The City of Joliet annually seeks out residents who want to donate large trees for the city’s annual tree lighting. In return for the donation, the tree is removed at no cost to the homeowner. It’s a win-win situation,” said Russ Lubash, traffic engineer for the city’s Department of Public Works.

The tree will be lit this year by Joliet Mayor Tom Giarrante and University of St. Francis President Arvid Johnson prior to the Nov. 29 Light Up the Holidays Parade, which is once again being sponsored by the university.

Nearly 45 feet tall when it was cut from Fronek’s yard, the tree was shortened to 35 feet by Homer Tree Services, which donated the labor associated with its relocation. The tree was transported downtown on a flatbed, raised to an upright position with a crane, and will stay “planted” in Van Buren Plaza for the rest of the holiday season.

City workers use a crane to hoist the tree into an upright position in Van Buren Plaza.

City workers use a crane to hoist the tree into an upright position in Van Buren Plaza.


For more information on the Light Up the Holidays Festival and Parade, call (877) 4-JOLIET or visit www.jolietdowntown.com or www.visitjoliet.org. To learn more about parade sponsor University of St. Francis, which serves 3,400 students nationwide with undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs in arts and science, business, education, nursing, health care and social work, call (800) 735-7500 or visit www.stfrancis.edu.