Vincent claims state’s oldest Christmas tree

Published 11:14 pm Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The city of Vincent has a reminder of Christmas all year long.

The city Christmas tree, said to be the oldest living Christmas tree in Alabama, stands tall on Highway 231 year-round.

Geraldine Waldrop, who works in the mayor’s office, said the tree was planted in 1935 by Lucille Floyd and Lallouise McGraw, two Vincent residents bent on beautifying the town.

In the 78 years since, the tree has served as a longtime Vincent landmark.

Mayor Ray McAllister said the Christmas tree was something his family always looked for when coming to Vincent.

“Before we planned to move to Vincent, we always came to visit (his wife’s) family during Christmas,” McAllister said. “My daughters thought that Christmas tree was just great. It was a sight to see.”

The history of the tree is passed down through the years among Vincent families.

“That history’s been passed down from generation to generation,” McAllister said. “It’s been told and told.”

The Christmas tree serves a special role in Vincent’s holiday celebration.

Vincent’s mayor is always grand marshal of the Christmas parade. As the mayor passes through the town, the Christmas tree lights are turned on, and the entire town gathers to sing the songs of the season.

After that, the Christmas tree lights are turned on every night until the end of December.

The tree is so special to Vincent townspeople because it represents the town’s history and sense of community, McAllister said. “It’s been a tradition for so many years. It’s a landmark,” he said. “When you go through town, there’s two things really that you see. You see the railroad bridge that goes across, and then you see the Christmas tree. It’s just a landmark.”