Railroad Employees Continue Omaha Holiday Tradition
45-Foot Blue Spruce is Holiday Centerpiece in The Durham Museum Lobby
Cutting the Tree
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Family, friends and neighbors gather across the street from Joe and Karen Kun’s house in Omaha, while Union Pacific employees prepare to cut and transport the 45-foot blue spruce. Donated by the Kuns, it will become Omaha’s “official” Christmas tree at The Durham Museum.
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Union Pacific employees gently lower the 45-foot blue spruce after cutting it in the front yard of Joe and Karen Kun in Omaha, Neb. Union Pacific began the tradition some 75 years ago by cutting and transporting a Christmas tree from along its right of way in the Pacific Northwest to Omaha’s Union Station. This is the 17th consecutive year the “official” Omaha Christmas tree has been harvested in the Omaha/Council Bluffs area.
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Omaha, Neb., November 24, 2008 Union Pacific employees today cut and transported a 45-foot Blue Spruce from the front yard of Joe and Karen Kun in Omaha to The Durham Museum.
"Our employees look forward to helping bring this holiday symbol to the former Union Station each year, just like their fellow employees did so many years ago," said Tom Adams, electrician on Union Pacific's Council Bluffs Service Unit and the railroad's "Christmas tree team" coordinator. "The expressions on the faces of young and old alike when they first walk into the museum's lobby and see the decorated tree for the first time is priceless."
Union Pacific began the tradition some 75 years ago by cutting a Christmas tree from along its right of way in the Pacific Northwest and transporting it to Omaha's Union Station. The tree greeted the thousands of passengers arriving on trains during the holiday season in the heyday of passenger rail service. This is the 17th year in a row the "official" Omaha Christmas tree has been harvested in the Omaha/Council Bluffs area.
After this year's tree is placed in the massive, art-deco-patterned, terrazzo-floored main lobby by Union Pacific employees, it will be sprayed with a chemical fire retardant by a contractor and decorated by volunteers, along with employees from Mangelsen's, an Omaha area craft store.
The fully decorated tree will be ready for the tree lighting ceremony which begins at 4 p.m. on Friday, November 28.
About The Durham Museum
The Durham Museum, making its home in Omaha's beautiful art deco Union Station, is home to permanent exhibits that preserve Omaha's great history, traveling exhibits covering subjects ranging from history and culture, to science and industry, and many entertaining, educational, family-oriented activities. The Durham is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and has strong ties with the Library of Congress and National Archives. Admission is free for members; $7 for adults; $6 for seniors; and $5 for children 3-12. For information on The Durham Museum and its exhibits, please visit the museum's Web site at www.durhammuseum.org.
About Union Pacific
Union Pacific Corporation owns one of America's leading transportation companies. Its principal operating company, Union Pacific Railroad, links 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country and serves the fastest-growing U.S. population centers. Union Pacific's diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Energy, Industrial Products and Intermodal. The railroad offers competitive long-haul routes from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways. Union Pacific connects with Canada's rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major gateways to Mexico, making it North America's premier rail franchise.
For further information, contact Mark Davis at (402) 544-5459.
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