Miami Springs/Virginia Gardens Optimist Club members have been selling Christmas trees in the city longer than anyone can remember. However, the Gazette has been covering the traditional tree lot for about 35 years.
In the early 1980s, the lot was located on South Drive, next to Barry’s Cleaners, before houses were built on the west side of the block. The lot then relocated to what was once a public parking lot just off the Circle on North Royal Poinciana Boulevard.
After the Milam Building was built, the tree lot moved to the median of Curtiss Parkway. That lasted a few years until the lot was moved to the open space in front of Blessed Trinity Catholic Church. However, this year the lot was relocated again because insurance costs required by the archdiocese increased by about $2,700.
The Christmas tree lot’s new home is now at the Optimist Clubhouse, 1101 Wren Ave., at the intersection of Hammond Drive and Wren Avenue.
Last week a refrigerated semi truck pulled up to the Optimist Clubhouse loaded with Frasier firs.
“We have about 650 trees,” said Optimist Club President Mark Bain. “We have another refrigerated trailer coming to store the trees we don’t have room for on the lot. We have trees from $30 to $150.”
Helping unload the pines were Optimist Club members, Civil Air Patrol cadets, Boy Scouts from Troop #334 and Archery Club members.
The lot opened Thanksgiving Day and will be open Monday through Friday from 6 to 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
“We’ll be here until we sell out,” said Bain. “And we usually do.”