Yes, at first glance it looks like a normal Christmas tree in the center of town. But Chandler, Arizona creates something unique and beautiful each year. Something that you can find nowhere else in the country…
This beautiful tree is made up of thousands of tumbleweeds!
Yes, thousands of them! It takes around 1,000 of these tumbling dead bushes to create the massive 30″ tall tree each year.
Local tradition holds that Chandler’s Tumbleweed Tree was the brainchild of Earle Barnum. He came up with the idea for the tumbleweed tree after seeing a tree built with local pine boughs in his hometown in Indiana.
How do they make a Tumbleweed Tree?
Starting in the fall, the tumbleweeds are gathered and then placed around a chicken wire frame. They are then sprayed with flame retardant white paint, sprinkled with over 65 pounds of glitter, and strung with lights.
This wonderfully unique tradition has been carried on for over 60 years in the town of Chandler.
Of course, once we heard about it, we had to see it!
There was lots to see and do in the town area surrounding the Tumbleweed Tree including great little shops and restaurants. Naturally, we had to try out one of the restaurants.
The sacrifices we make for this website. LOL!
We decided to check out Crust Restaurant, a local Italian eatery. From inside, we could watch the tree as darkness began to fall and the lights were lit.
We had some amazing pasta dishes at Crust. We enjoyed a fresh board of Tomato, Basil and Parmesan Bruschetta, along with our main course of Grandma’s Pasta- a yummy mix of pasta, meatballs, sausage, ricotta and marinara!
Definitely worth a return visit!
And as darkness fell, the Tumbleweed Tree grew even more beautiful!
We really enjoyed the lights in the square.
After all, it is pretty hard to decorate an RV. The lights in the streets were amazing.
This is our second Christmas living full time in our coach. And one of the things I love about that is that we can experience Christmas just a bit differently each year.
Last year, we were on the beaches of Florida, and this year we are enjoying a Tumbleweed Christmas tree!
And back at the campground, the doggies are settling in just fine. Faith and Ralph have decided that the campground was pretty nice about supplying them with an official “doggie sidewalk”.
We brought a few more of the old traditions back to our coach including whipping up a big batch of Old Fashioned Potato Candy. (You can find the full recipe on my other website, Suzy’s Sitcom).
Faith and Ralph (and both of us) wish you all an amazing, happy and healthy holiday season!
Next week, I plan on doing a review of our past year on the road! Stay tuned!