Floating Christmas tree found in Texas

Firefighters find tree and deflated helium balloon tangled in power lines.

Could Kelowna’s wayward Christmas tree have made it all the way to Texas?

That’s was the question yesterday after a Richardson, Texas firefighter contacted the Capital News to say he and his crew found a small Christmas tree that looked just like the one that was attached to helium balloons here and floated away on the weekend, tangled in power lines in the city located northeast of Dallas.

Richardson firefighter Mike McMahon said late Monday the crew discovered a small Christmas tree that looked just like the one that floated away from Kelowna Sunday.

The Kelowna tree had been attached to several helium filled balloons and was held by a tether during the scavenger hunt but slipped loose and got away. As a result, the Kelowna airport was notified as a safety precaution.

A small tree, believed to be the one from here, was found tangled in the overhead cables in Richardson, a small city located 12 miles northeast of of Dallas. If it is the same tree, it travelled an estimated 3,565 kiliometres before landing.

But the scavenger hunt that the tree was used in here was part of a much bigger scavenger hunt staged across North America on the weekend.

And now McMahon is not so sure.

“Maybe they’re not so uncommon,” he said. “Sadly, I’m starting to think someone near here had the same idea.”

McMahon, who watched a YouTube video of the tree taking off here and said what he found looked exactly like it. It was still attached to the many multi-colured balloons that took it aloft in the first place.

He said he also saw a report about the wayward Kelowna tree on the CBS national morning television program in the U.S., which showed a YouTube clip of the take-off.

“We see some weird stuff,” said McMahon about his discovery when he thought it could be the Kelowna tree. “But this was something else.”

The four-man fire  crew McMahon is part of were dispatched to investigate a call about something tangled in powerlines in Richardson late Monday and were surprised when they arrived to find a small, still partially decorated Christmas tree attached to many deflated balloons of different colours.

He said the line it was caught in was not a high-voltage line, but rather a television cable line, so it was left to be removed by the local cable company.

After reporting what they found, he said his captain texted him and said he should check out the CBS report as it appeared to be the same tree.

McMahon said what he saw looked just like the tree in the CBS news story. After he saw it, he contacted the Capital News.

“It seemed to be the same tree with all its balloons. How many could there be?” he said. “It was pretty unbelievable.”

But after learning about the North American scavenger hunt, he said maybe it was a tree from closer to home.

As for the Kelowna tree, there is still not word of a discovery from anyone else.



Kelowna Capital News