Christmas is canceled! The big Christmas tree at Fisherman's Wharf has been taken down a week and a half before Christmas, and the nightly light shows at Pier 39 are canceled, because the big tree dried out too fast.
Harvested from Siskiyou County and put up in early November, the tree was apparently so dry and brittle already that Pier 39's management decided it was becoming a public safety hazard. As the Chronicle reports, the tree was abruptly undecorated and removed this week, three weeks ahead of when it was scheduled to come down on January 8.
"The tree had to be removed as it dried out prematurely due to Northern California’s drought coupled with the gusty winds we had last weekend," says Pier 39 spokesperson Sue Muzzin in a statement to the Chronicle. "The branches and needles were damaged."
Were those big ornaments falling off and crashing near tourists? Was the tree itself unstable? They're not saying, but the tree is gone and people are sad.
Celebrate HapPIER Holidays at the Pier. Once again @PIER39 is unwrapping its nightly tree lighting show starting tonight through 1/8/2023. The 60' live performing Christmas tree will come to life every half hour from 5pm-10pm.— ABC7 News (@abc7newsbayarea) November 23, 2022
🎄Sponsored by Pier 39. pic.twitter.com/3yyvA45SxX
Pier 39 had been marketing their "HapPIER Holidays" ongoing events, with 5 p.m. nightly shows centered on the tree called "Tree Lighting Magical Moments" with lights synchronized to holiday music and the tree turning "into a kaleidoscope of swirling colors, adorned with thousands of specialty lights and ornaments." But that is no more, for this year anyway.
This isn't the first time that wind at the pier has done some damage to the tree. In 2014, the whole top of the Pier 39 tree went sort of cattywampus due to high winds.
Lol at the fact that the wind was so bad at pier 39 that the Christmas tree was crooked pic.twitter.com/MjJjif9Dta— Megan Morrison (@meganhentschke) December 31, 2014
And remember the time in 2018 when a Modesto tow truck driver named Everitt Jameson told undercover agents posing as Islamic State representatives that he wanted to attack Pier 39 at Christmas when it would be filled with tourists? He's still in prison after being sentenced to 15 years for attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State.