Marblehead Select Board signed off on the annual tree burning that the Marblehead Fire Department will stage on Riverhead Beach on Friday, Jan. 6.
“The Christmas tree pile will be set alight at 6 p.m.,” wrote Marblehead Fire Chief Jason Gilliland and Marblehead Department of Public Works Director Amy McHugh in a joint letter. “Residents are invited to attend this community event.”
Marblehead’s Epiphany Tree Burning goes back decades, but Gilliland reinstated the tradition in 2015 after an eight-year hiatus.
“Trees will be picked at the curbside from Tuesday, Dec. 27 and Friday, Jan. 6 will be placed at Riverhead Beach for the community bonfire,” the pair wrote.
Households opting into curbside pickup must strip trees down, removing lights, tinsel and ornaments. Do not slip trees in plastic bags before putting them curbside. Holiday decorations like wreaths, roping and garland will not be picked up if placed curbside. Trees that don’t comply with the rules will be skipped over.
“Christmas trees will continue to be picked up curbside after Jan. 6 until Jan. 13,” Gilliland and McHugh wrote. “After Jan. 13, residents should bring trees to the town’s transfer station for proper disposal.”
The massive blaze – once firefighters ignite it – will emanate a blistering yet comfortable heat (at a safe distance) as hundreds encircle the bonfire on the winter night.
Christians embraced the pagan tradition as a way to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. Evergreens – which do not shed their pine needles unlike deciduous tree leaves – symbolize the significance of having a faith that is unwavering and eternal.