Holiday Festival tree stolen


A holiday festival that was held near Lawrence and Austin avenues at the end of November featured the unveiling of a 14-foot-high Christmas tree that was stolen just a few days later.

"It was cut with an ax," said Kathy Galvin, the owner of Galvin’s Public House, 5901 W. Lawrence Ave. "I’m furious. It happened on Lawrence in the middle of a busy street. I know it was at 2 a.m., but still."

Galvin said that the theft likely was planned in advance because a truck would have been needed to drive away with a tree that large. She said that a police report was filed and that the tree and lights cost about $350.

The tree was held in place by concrete blocks which were placed in a barrel that was buried several feet in the ground, Galvin said. Christmas tree ornaments which children had made as part of the festival were left on the ground, she said.

Area merchants organized the festival, which featured a raffle and free food, as a way to attract to families to the commercial district during the holidays and to highlight the variety of ethnic cuisine that area restaurants offer.