Franklin’s Christmas tree to arrive today

From staff reports

The wait for the Franklin community Christmas tree will be over today with its scheduled arrival to the Venango County Courthouse.

This year’s tree was donated by Oil City resident Gregory Gonzales, who lost his wife, Kathy, six years ago to her battle against cancer. Gonzales said that his wife would want the tree to go to her hometown.

“She was really special, always caring for people,” Gonzales said. “She worked at CareerLink, and then when she couldn’t anymore because of the cancer, she worked at St. Elizabeth’s Center as a family advocate. She’d want me to do this.”

The tree will make its way to Franklin from Oil City, courtesy of Franklin’s “Christmas Tree Express” — Paul Bunyan Tree Services, ITC Truck and Crane and Klapec Trucking — a group of businesses that donate time, expertise and equipment.

Work on cutting down the tree and transporting it will begin at 8 a.m.

“We don’t know exactly when the tree will arrive,” Franklin Community Development Director Amanda Power said, “but it’s always met with excitement and anticipation.”

Venango County’s maintenance staff will help secure the tree in its new home.

The lighting of the tree is the pinnacle of Franklin’s annual “Light-Up Night,” which will take place on Saturday.

Each year, thousands of people crowd Liberty Street between 14th and Ninth streets.

The event also features a parade and fireworks, as well as downtown festivities throughout the day.

Tammi Dahl Matthews will perform traditional Christmas music at the pre-parade show, and children can enjoy a visit with Santa Claus at Bandstand Park from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Light-Up Night events as well as other holiday happenings can be found on the City of Franklin’s Christmas webpage at


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