treeup

Erectly challenged: Busy holiday season starts with a banging in the annual tree forest

Read Time:2 Minute, 27 Second

In this instance, size definitely matters.

Inserting a very long tree into a very small hole was the task facing two employees this week at Mary-Anns Polarrigg. But trying to erect one of Longyearbyen’s first Christmas trees for lighting this year was thwarted by a lack of friction, as the glassy smooth ice under a thin layer of snow was too slippery to keep their footing.

Making things more awkward, their stumbling performance was captured on film thanks to a crew filming a “docusoap” for the BBC in which the lodge’s owner is one of the stars.

“I hate that TV camera now,” said Stefan Baldursson after one of the many failed attempts.

Eventually he and Adrian Rodriguez recruited a third co-worker, Kinga Roszkowska, but her short stature was no match for the massive woody protuberance. That’s when the threesome decided it was time for a bit of mechanized aid.

By parking a van next to the stand and bracing the tree against it, Baldursson and Rodriguez were able to get a rise out of tree while Roszkowska skillfully guided it toward the cherished hole – finally culminating in a loud and satisfying bang.

“It’s not the easiest thing I’ve done,” Rodriguez said. “It’s not the hardest either.”

Next came some more leisurely afterglow after a short rest, as lights and decorations were hung, finally adding a bit more brightness to a town now in the full dark grip of the polar night.

The lighting of the tree, only a couple hundred meters from what’s supposedly the world’s largest Santa’s mailbox, occurred about a week before holiday events swing in full gear until well into January. Among those occurring in the coming days:

• Holiday treats at Kulturhuset this Saturday and Sunday. Similar buffets and feasts are being frequently hosted by other eateries throughout the season.

• A Christmas market in the Longyearbyen Arts and Crafts Center, on the second floor at Galleri Svalbard beginning at 10 a.m. Nov. 28, featuring works by local residents. There will also be children’s films and activities.

• A “Christmas Mile” race in the center of Longyearbyen at 1 p.m. Nov. 28, beginning outside Svalbardbutikken.

• First Sunday of Advent activities begin with a mass at 11 a.m. Nov. 29 at Svalbard Church. A Christmas feast will be served at Huset at 1 p.m. The traditional torchlight march from Huset to the center of Longyearbyen, with a stop at the base of Mine 2B so children can drop letters off for Santa at his mailbox, begins at 3 p.m. The march will be followed by the lighting of the town Christmas tree and the traditional circular dance, plus an outdoor market, bonfire, stories and music. A children’s story reading will follow at 4:30 p.m. at Longyearbyen Library.

• The annual Telenor holiday concert, at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3 at Kulturhuset, featuring an instrumental and choral ensemble of 10 visiting musicians.

About Post Author

Mark Sabbatini

I'm a professional transient living on a tiny Norwegian island next door to the North Pole, where once a week (or thereabouts) I pollute our extreme and pristine environment with paper fishwrappers decorated with seemingly random letters that would cause a thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters to die of humiliation. Such is the wisdom one acquires after more than 25 years in the world's second-least-respected occupation, much of it roaming the seven continents in search of jazz, unrecognizable street food and escorts I f****d with by insisting they give me the platonic tours of their cities promised in their ads. But it turns out this tiny group of islands known as Svalbard is my True Love and, generous contributions from you willing, I'll keep littering until they dig my body out when my climate-change-deformed apartment collapses or they exile my penniless ass because I'm not even worthy of washing your dirty dishes.
Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %

Average Rating

5 Star
0%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
paristower Previous post Fear failure: Terrorist attacks won’t alter regional scientists’ plans for UN climate summit in Paris
cityfund Next post Will there be more? Gov’t announces 50M for local jobs; decision on 285M in aid for Store Norske apparently still pending