Tiny town embroiled in Christmas tree war as it fights for tallest crown

Spanish cities and towns of all sizes are in the grips of a festive war as they are all battling for the title of Spain’s – and Europe’s – tallest Christmas tree.

The Spanish city of Granada was initially expecting to have the tallest offering with a 55-metre tree with 82,000 LED lights, but a tiny village in northern Spain is gunning for the title as it is promising a tree a staggering 65m tall.

To put that kind of size in perspective, the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree in London is just 21m tall and the Rockefeller Christmas tree in New York City is just 24m tall.

However, the first city to announce its candidacy was Vigo, on Spain’s northwest coast with its 44m tree. Christmas plans there started in the summer as 1.5m Christmas lights were already being installed months ago.

This declaration was challenged by Badalona with a 40.5m tree. The mayor of Badalona declared his tree would be akin to a Rolling Stones concert, and announced an investment of €1.5m (£1.3m) into the campaign.

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Abel Caballero, mayor of Vigo said in a press conference: “I know that there is someone who says they have the biggest tree in the world… and if their tree is the biggest in the world, ours will be the biggest in the Universe.”

Badalona’s mayor Xavier García Albiol quipped back: “I know that Abel Caballero must not like it very much. There is always someone who eventually surpasses you, and we are going to surpass him without a doubt in terms of the height and spectacularity of the tree so that the residents of Badalona and those who come from outside can enjoy it.”

Going up against these rivals is of course the country’s capital Madrid. However, the city is well behind the other competitors with a much smaller 35-metre offering in the Plaza de España.

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However, apparently planning on beating all these is the tiny town of Cartes with its plans for a 65m tree.

Cartes was a competitor few saw coming. The centrally located town in Cantabria has a population of 6,000 and already had a 45m tree but is planning to hire a scaffolding company is raise their tree by 20m – dwarfing Granada’s efforts.

What started as a joke in the town has become a very serious festive matter.

According to the mayor of Cartes, Agustín Molleda, it will be the biggest Christmas tree in Europe.

He said: “It is not a competition; it is an opportunity to put Cartes on the map.”

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In comparison, closer to home, the UK’s tallest living Christmas tree was installed in Wakehurst, Haywards Heath last week to mark the countdown to the big day.

The giant redwood tree stands at 37m tall and has been lit up with 1,800 energy saving bulbs and decorated ahead of the opening of the Glow Wild winter lantern trail which opens on November 23.

The Glow Wild trail marks its 10th anniversary at Kew’s wild botanic gardens this year.

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