WinterBlast in downtown Akron returns with a new, permanent Christmas tree

AKRON, Ohio – Family-friendly in downtown Akron WinterBlast its 17th season starts on November 26th in Lock 3 with holiday favorites like ice skating and polar putt-putt.

And this year, downtown Akron attendees and visitors can admire a new year-round addition to Lock 3: a live 22-foot spruce that was planted earlier this month.

“I’ve been considering this option for a couple of years. I used to be an arborist in town, so I’m not exactly someone who cut trees. But we knew Lock 3 was getting redeveloped, and when we started planting or felling it was about a wash, “said Jon Malish, superintendent for Parks Maintenance.

According to Malish, the city typically spends $ 6,000 annually to buy a tree, cut it down, and clean up the donor site. The spruce was purchased from Rusty Oak Nursery in Valley City.

Malish estimates the tree weighs 2,000 pounds.

Before the tree was planted, city workers prepared the site by excavating the area and adding soil and compost to the soil. Once the tree was selected, it was wrapped in burlap and twine to protect its branches during the move and planting process. The tree was brought into lock 3 by a large 35-ton truck, he said.

“It came in on a 90-inch tree spade – so it was a 90-inch diameter root ball when we dug it out of the ground,” he said.

After the spade dug the hole for the tree, the dowel was removed and taken back to the nursery to fill in the hole the tree had previously occupied. Eventually the tree was planted and plenty of 4-inch double shredder bark was added around the base.

“When you have the right equipment, it’s a fascinating process,” says Malish.

The city will continue to take care of the tree and make sure the tree gets enough water, especially in warmer weather, he said. The health of the tree is also assessed twice a year.

Prune the tree

Ahead of the city’s tree lighting celebration on November 26th, a professional rigger will install 9,000-15,000 programmable RGB LED lights on the tree. The lights will be mapped and programmed to produce a Christmas light show, according to city communications and media officer Stephanie Marsh.

“This season the decoration is mostly about the lights,” said Marsh. “Although the tree relies primarily on lighting, there will be many decorative elements on the slope in front of the tree. The theme of this year’s exhibition is “Together in Akron”. Various sights from all parts of the city are represented and presented in the holiday theme in order to be celebrated as a community. “

WinterBlast line-up

In addition to tree lighting, ice skating and polar putt putt, WinterBlast will feature ice scooter cars, ice bikes, the Polar Cub Rink, Archie, the 22-foot talking snowman, the LeBron James Family Foundation Lock 4 Light Show, outdoor igloos and more.

Ice skating will be available for $ 3 or $ 5 with skate rentals. Heated igloos and fire pits can be rented on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in winter. Igloos are $ 50 for two hours and fire pits are $ 15 an hour and include a designated area with tables and chairs. Guests can bring their own food and non-alcoholic drinks or purchase a package from Schleuse 3. Each igloo must be rented as a whole and can accommodate up to eight people.

Downtown Akron Tree Light Celebration: 6:30 p.m. on Friday, November 26th. The event includes the annual tree lighting, a visit to Santa and friends, and hot chocolate and cookies.

Welcome Christmas Party Parade: 10 a.m. on Saturday, November 27th. The 34th annual parade begins on the corner of Main Street and Cedar Street and continues towards Bowery Street.

Breakfast with Santa Claus: 9.30 a.m.-12.30 p.m. on 11.-12. December and 18.-19. December. The event includes breakfast, admission to the Akron Children’s Museum, ice skating, ice skate rentals, polar putt-putt, and photo opportunities with Santa Claus. Pre-sale tickets are $ 12 and day tickets are $ 15 (children 2 and under are free).

Dinner with the Grinch: 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. on Saturday, December 11th. The dinner event features photos with the Grinch, competitions, putt-putt, dessert, and ice skating.

To make a reservation for an outdoor attraction, visit

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