“They feel real, They look real,” Hillary Zody told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It’s not changing a tradition, it’s evolving a tradition. It shouldn’t take any joy from what this wonderful holiday is about.”
But for many people, news of an artificial tree was harder to digest than a Thanksgiving feast.
“I get it, but I don’t like it,” Shelley Hendrix of Canton said. “It’s sad when traditions go away. It’s not the end of the world, but it is disappointing.”
It’s not the first move for the Great Tree. The brightly decorated tree was first mounted atop Rich’s downtown store in 1948 before moving to Lenox in 2000. In 2005, the tree’s name began to incorporate Macy’s, which it assumed officially when Rich’s stores became Macy’s.
In recent years, the Great Tree has proved to be a great hassle, but it’s not clear if that had anything to do with Macy’s decision.
In January, the 2012 tree, a 60-foot white pine, fell, puncturing the roof of the third-floor men's department. No one was injured when the tree fell. And in November 2011, the 60-foot Douglas County pine that was supposed to top Lenox cracked as it was being hoisted up. The back-up tree was cut down the next day and made it to Buckhead in time for its Thanksgiving night lighting.
This year’s tree lighting will begin at 6 p.m. following pre-show entertainment at 5:15 p.m. The lighting will televised on Channel 2 Action News.