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November 16, 2012

Talk of the Times: Tree beats Customs snag

Gloucester’s holiday tree has arrived safe and sound after being brought to Kent Circle this week by Brent “Ringo” Tarr and St. Peter’s Fiesta Committee President Joe Novello.

But this year’s return trip, with tree in tow, didn’t come without a few shaky moments when the tree — that’s right the tree, not the drivers — met some resistance coming through U.S. Customs.

In keeping with tradition, Tarr and Novello went to Nova Scotia to pick up Gloucester’s tree from its sister community last week, and began the trek back to New England with the donated spruce. Meanwhile, a city of Boston group had gone to Nova Scotia to collect the Hub’s spruce as well, and both arrived, by coincidence, at Customs at the same time.

Boston checked its tree through first, with certification that it was a spruce. But when Tarr tried to bring Gloucester’s tree across the border, paperwork from Shelbourne had just listed the tree as a fir, and Customs officials questioned its identity.

“Evidently, different firs can carry some different kinds of bugs,” Tarr related, and that had thrown up a few proverbial Customs red flags. Thankfully, however, the tree was confirmed as a spruce as well, and Tarr and Novello, after a delay, were on their way.

Gloucester’s tree was loaded into place at Kent Circle Friday, ready to be decorated today. The tree will be lit for the holiday season on Sunday, Nov. 25, as the climax to Gloucester’s annual Santa Parade.

In the meantime, Tarr said, the Kent Circle Christmas Tree Committee is seeking donations to help with the cost of lights and decorations. Anyone who can help may send a check to the committee, care of 18 Timberview Drive, Gloucester 01930.

Schooner vane back in place

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