It's Big, Oh Yeah: Ferndale's Huge Living Christmas Tree

It's a twinkly Humboldt County tradition.

THE QUESTION... isn't "is Humboldt County pretty magical?" Rather, a person needs to ask just how magical Humboldt County might be. It's home to a number of redwoods that are acquainted with the sky, and loads of stunning shoreline along the Lost Coast, and Victorian homes that seemingly sprung fully formed from the front of a greeting card, and some of the kookiest kinetic machines around (you can watch them go fender-to-fender, or whatever the vehicles might be using in place of fenders, every Memorial Day Weekend). Whimsy comes easily to the area, but it is whimsy with a ton of heart and community can-do and that deep acceptingness found the Humboldtian spirit. And the whimsy flows strongly, and festively, in Ferndale each year when the long-running Lighting of America's Tallest Living Christmas Tree takes place, which it will again on...

SUNDAY, DEC. 3, 2017: If you've never called upon Ferndale, and seen its vintage buildings, well, the tree lighting is quite the bustling night to do so, but you can stay a day or two beyond to visit the charming shops and, yes, the famous Palace Saloon, said to be the furthest west bar in the United States (continental, natch). But after nightfall? That tall, tall tree dominates, and while it might not best some of the specimens found along the Avenue of the Giants, just a fairly short drive southeast-ish from Ferndale, it impresses. And if you love your superlatives when it comes to the sparkly season? The tallest, the highest, the longest, the brightest, and so on? Ferndale should be a stop for you at some point. The lighting has been a beloved local must-do since 1934, and sipping a complimentary cocoa while enjoying the scene is a memory shared by many Californians.

IF YOUR TIME TO VISIT IS NOW, as in 2017, during December, hooray: It's a sweet small town, filled with stories stretching back way into the yonder mists of time, and that it may be found in Humboldt County, a whimsical place of visual riches? Even sweeter.

Copyright FREEL - NBC Local Media
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