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Chandler tumbleweed Christmas tree to light up night

(Twitter Photo)

PHOENIX – You can look but you probably won’t want to touch the Christmas tree that will be officially start the holiday season in Chandler this weekend.

The suburban Phoenix city’s tumbleweed tree lighting has been scheduled for Saturday. The switch for the tree lights was expected to flipped around 8 p.m. Festivities, including the Parade of Lights and an appearance by Santa Claus, were to begin at 4:30 p.m.

The tree will remain lighted at A.J. Chandler Park at Arizona Avenue near Chandler Boulevard until Jan. 7, 2019, the city said in an email.

The tumbleweed Christmas tree tradition began in 1957.

Parks workers began assembling the tree in early November but they had already been amassing tumbleweeds, about 1,000 of them, the city website said.

They construct a frame made of wire, spray tumbleweeds with paint and fire retardant, stuff them into the cage, add some glitter and wrap more than 1,000 lights around it.

That process has remained the same but one new touch this year is the length of the parade route. The route will cover from Frye Road north past Chandler High School to Erie Street.

Street closures have been staggered, starting with Arizona Avenue between Frye and Pecos roads at 2:30 p.m. on parade day.

Other closures are:

• Arizona Avenue from Frye Road to Chandler Boulevard, 2:30 p.m. until 10 p.m.

• Arizona Avenue from Chandler Boulevard to Galveston Street, 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

• Frye Road will be restricted from Washington to California streets, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

• Chandler Boulevard will be restricted from Delaware to California streets, 6:50 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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