Once darkness falls over the streets leading into the Village of Cherry Hill, the shopping center appears dark and quiet from the outside. As you drive closer, however, you begin to see the glowing concoction of thousands of Christmas lights illuminating the small grassy square that sits in the middle of the complex. People from all over the area come to see the cherry tree, every inch covered in a rainbow of colorful lights. This colorful spectacle has been a part of the Columbia Holiday tradition for over 15 years and doesn’t show signs of slowing down any time soon.
The man in charge goes by Will Treelighter. He continues his tedious work each year because he loves the joy and imagination the tree ignites in its visitors. Will hopes that each onlooker will get lost in the beauty and “magic” of the magnificent tree. So pile your friends and family into your vehicle and travel over to the Village of Cherry Hill to experience the incomparable Columbia, Missouri tradition.
Welcome to the home of the Magic Tree on the Internet.
The Magic Tree has been a crab apple tree in Columbia, Missouri lit by Will Treelighter every holiday season since 1995. Each year in the fall Will has set to work wrapping every branch with mini lights creating an ever more elaborate spectacle that generates increasing interest from surrounding communities. That interest has led to such an influx of admirers to the little neighborhood which has hosted the Magic Tree that Will found it necessary to seek a new home for his creation.
Starting with this 2010 holiday season you will now find the Magic Tree at its new host neighborhood, the Village of Cherry Hill, located in Columbia, MO at Scott Blvd. and Chapel Hill Roads. The new tree is, appropriately enough, a Cherry Tree.
Please do not come to the old location. The Magic Tree will not be there.
“The Cherry Hill Business Association is pleased to be the new host of the Magic Tree, a display of lights created by Will Treelighter, who is otherwise unaffiliated with Cherry Hill. Because he has run out of capacity to host the crowds of viewers the Magic Tree attracts to his neighborhood with no parking areas and narrow streets we are glad to welcome Mr. Treelighter to the Village of Cherry Hill solely for the purpose of continuing the gift of holiday cheer that the spectacle of the Magic Tree brings to the surrounding community. The opinions here after expressed on Mr. Treelighter’s Magic Tree website are his alone and do not necessarily reflect those of our Association or any of its member businesses, their owners, or their customers.”
Directions: from I-70 take the Stadium Blvd. exit and turn south on Stadium Blvd. At 5th traffic signal turn right on West Broadway. Follow West Broadway west until it turns south. When it turns south it becomes Scott Blvd. Turn left at Chapel Hill road and then right into Cherry Hill.
The Magic Tree is lit every evening from 5pm to 11pm from Thanksgiving Eve to Epiphany (January 6th).
The Magic Tree is for your enjoyment but, beyond this, is not without purpose. Please peruse this site to find Will’s idea of the greater purpose of the Magic Tree. To find your idea of the higher purpose look within your Self.
Below is the 2008 award winning Sarah’s Story on the Magic Tree by KMOU’s premier story teller Sarah Hill and the skilled videographer Scott Schaefer.