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Strasbourg’s Christmas Tree: the story behind the magic

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Strasbourg is awash with light and colour during the festive season, with miles and miles of fairy lights adorning the city’s streets. The Christmas Tree at Place Kléber is the star of the show – almost stealing the limelight from the imposing Cathedral nearby. And the stunning tree is the backdrop to millions of selfies.

 

Sapin Noël Strasbourg

Three questions for Romaric Gusto from Sigmatech, the firm in charge of decorating the Christmas Tree

Is decorating a big tree just the same as doing your tree at home?You have to take account of the shape of the tree, just like you would at home. The first step is to install the fairy lights, wrapping them around each branch of the tree. Next, you add the other decorations. Then you step back to make sure there aren’t any gaps or similar decorations too close together. The difference with a big tree, though, is that you have a tree climber 30 metres in the air, talking to someone on the ground using a walkie-talkie or a mobile phone. So it takes a lot more people and equipment to work on a tree of this size.

How do you go about installing fairy lights on a 30-metre Christmas tree?  

You need two climbers (or as we call them, squirrels), a dozen electricians, eight landscape designers, two 40-metre-tall cherry pickers and dozens of metres of fairy lights. It takes three weeks to complete the work.

What theme have you chosen for this year’s decorations?

The toys of yesteryear, the ones our grandparents used to play with. Locomotives, cars, rocking horses and many others will be used to decorate the branches of the Great Christmas Tree.