Shelton is one small town that knows how to get its Christmas on. Thanks to an evergreen that’s everywhere.
Back in the 50’s and 60’s, the small Douglas firs that thrived here after bigger trees were logged made perfect Christmas trees.
“It was called the Christmas Tree Capital of the Nation,” explained Rachel Hansen, Mason County tourism coordinator.
In December, a giant Santa on the entrance to town welcomes visitors to ‘CHRISTMAS TOWN USA’, and Shelton still celebrates that decades-old heritage — with a present-day achievement.
“We decided to go after the World Record for the most Christmas Trees in one location, we were able to successfully make a maze of 797 trees,” Hansen said.
In 2019 Shelton broke the world record for ‘Largest Display of Illuminated Christmas Trees’ — stealing the title from the Hallmark Channel by hundreds of trees. This year, Shelton’s Christmas Tree maze has even more trees than their 2019 record-breaker, but they decided not to officially break their own record: The documentation and certification it takes to make it official is too much work.
Despite that decision, when volunteers finished building the 2021 maze, there was a Holiday Miracle. Of sorts.
“When we finished, a local photographer, Cooper Studios, took an aerial for us so we could see an aerial photo of it, and everybody said ‘You did Washington!’ And we had no idea that we had actually designed Washington, it was a total fluke,” laughed Hansen.
From the air, this year’s maze does look like Washington State. Hansen says it was a coincidence of available space, which happened to be a square and cramming in as many trees as possible.
Hot chocolate, marshmallows, and crackling campfires to roast those marshmallows help to make the maze a magical place to get lost in for an evening. And next door on some December weekends is a Christmas Market where families can do crafts together, enjoy food and wares from local merchants, and visit with the Claus’s.
Shelton’s Christmas Tree Maze has become an unofficial town square, bringing fellowship and light to long, wet December nights.
And the real miracle here?
It’s free — a gift for anybody who wants it.
“Everybody’s equal when it comes to Christmas. And that’s what I love about making it all free, is that everybody can enjoy it equally, and it can make memories for families,” Hansen said. “The really wonderful thing about doing this is everybody comes out, everybody loves Christmas, and even when it’s pouring rain like this we get folks to come out and enjoy the Christmas spirit and enjoy each other, which we all need nowadays.”
Shelton’s Christmas Tree Maze is at 325 Cota Street in Shelton, and is open every night from dusk to 10 p.m. until the end of December. Unattended or unruly children will be reported to Santa.
According to king5.com. Source of photo: internet