Discussion over the future of Camelback Mountain's Christmas Tree

- The fate of the Camelback Christmas Tree was under discussion again Thursday.

For several years, a group of people have brought a holiday tree up to the top of Camelback Mountain as a tradition. Last year, however, Phoenix's Parks and Recreation Department said it was a safety hazard, and removed the tree.

The meeting began at 5:00 p.m. at the Phoenix City Council chambers.

Some saw the Christmas tree on Camelback Mountain as a tradition, but others disagreed.

"I'm gonna call it a tradition that really is making people happy," said one person.

"It's not a tradition," said another person. "It's only been happening a handful of years. A tradition has happened down generations."

On one side of the room sat the well-known Camelback Santa and some supporters, with many coming forward to tell board members why they want to continue hiking the tree up to the top of the mountain to stay for the month of December, where Camelback Santa would be every weekend posing with hikers on top.

Others at the meeting, however, said they don't agree with the tree's supporters.

"Those spaces are meant to be for everyone," said one person. "Natural, neutral and safe."

"My hope is that they consider how much happiness it brings to everyone in the Valley," said the man known as Camelback Santa. "I hope they consider the 1,200 people signed an online petition, less than 48 hours last December."

According to the agenda, it was a discussion item only, and no actions were taken.

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