By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Westborough – For many years, the go-to spot for numerous Christmas tree shoppers has been the former Tufts Machine Company parking lot in Westborough. This holiday season, however, the Westborough Civic Club is hopeful that longtime supporters will travel a half mile east for its 42nd annual tree sale at the new location: Elsie A. Hastings Elementary School front lawn, 111 E. Main St.
Only the sale’s usual weekday hours will change to the end of the school day. Shoppers can still choose from Canadian balsams in varying heights, garland and wreaths. About 1,500 trees are typically sold annually noted Steve Hart, club president.
“Customers have been coming for so many years that they literally walk onto the lot and know exactly where to get their size tree,” he relayed. “This year it’s going to be all new. Civic Club members will be there to assist throughout the season.”
The Tufts property has remained dormant since it closed. Its current owner Fawaz El Khoury has allowed nonprofit organizations including the Civic Club to use the lot for fundraisers. Many locals refer to it as “the tree lot.”
Aware for a few years that the property would be redeveloped, the club searched for another location and reached out to Westborough Superintendent of Schools Amber Bock and the School Committee. When Hastings School was considered as an option, its principal Leigh Becker also offered support.
“They’ve been really helpful,” Hart said. “This is a one-year pilot that we’ve been granted by the School Committee. If it works, they’re hoping it will establish a scenario for other community organizations to also use the area.”
Tree sales help the club donate annually to a few dozen nonprofit organizations and contribute regularly toward specific causes. The club recently voted to support the BORO (Bridging Over to Right Opportunities) Program for Westborough public school students age 18 to 22 who are eligible for highly individualized educational services and supports to transition to adulthood.
Beginning Saturday, Nov. 25, 9 a.m., sale hours will be weekdays 3:30 to 9 p.m., and weekends 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sales will continue until everything is sold, up to Sunday, Dec. 24.
“People tell us we have the best range of trees,” Hart added. “We go from the little ‘Charlie Brown [Christmas]’ tree up to 12-foot trees, which is unusual around here.”