Dandelion Fountain tree brightening up Naperville Riverwalk

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One of Naperville’s most popular landmarks is ready for the holidays. The Dandelion Fountain has been outfitted with a Christmas tree once again to help ring in the season.

It’s become an annual tradition for the Naperville Park District to turn the warm-weather attraction into something that benefits the community during colder months as well.

“We take the fountain apart, store that for the wintertime. So otherwise it’s just a big empty basin,” said Tiffani Picco, a park operations manager for the Naperville Park District. “So we take the opportunity to put a tree in, add some lights during the darkest time of the year. Something for people to look at as well as some of the other decorations in the area.”

Easy installation of the 18-foot tree

The tree stands at an impressive 18-feet tall at its highest point and is made up of four separate pieces.

Despite its large size, park district volunteers say it’s relatively simple to put up and take down.

“It comes pre-lit, which is very handy. All we have to do is plug the connections together- it makes it very easy to put up,” said Picco. “We started about 9:00 (one morning) getting it out of storage, and we were finished by 2:00 with about seven people. So about five hours- it was very easy.”

Fake evergreen, but real benefit

Since 2018, the same artificial tree has been used at Dandelion Fountain. Part of the reason for the switch was due to the cost and equipment required to cut down and move a live evergreen.

Picco says that the decision to switch from a real tree to a fake one was a smart one financially for the park district.

“We haven’t had to replace any of the parts or any of the lights. It goes up, it comes down, it gets stored. It’s been a good purchase for us.”

Tying downtown together

The tree is located at the center of Civic Plaza, right at the corner of Jackson Avenue and Webster Street. Its location, right next to the Rotary Club’s Naper Lights, helps make the Riverwalk a must-see attraction for fans of holiday displays.

“It ties everything together with the downtown area,” Picco said

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