ReInvent, ReCycle, REJOICE: Holiday Events in Beacon

Upcycled Christmas tree to be lit on Second Saturday

On Saturday, Dec. 8, Beacon sculptor and BeaconArts member Ed Benavente will once again install his Upcycled Christmas Tree sculpture, a festive public holiday display with a contemporary twist utilizing recycled bicycle parts. The tree made its debut in 2011. This year the sculpture will be the centerpiece of the City of Beacon’s Tree Lighting celebration, taking place from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. and located in the green space at Cross and Main Streets in Beacon. The celebration is sponsored by the City of Beacon and BeaconArts.

Children of all ages are encouraged to attend and enjoy the festivities, which will include a visit from Santa and a sing-along led by the Beacon Music Factory Choir.  After the lighting of the tree at Cross and Main Streets, all of the participants will be invited to follow Santa across the street to the School of Jellyfish, 183 Main St., for hot chocolate, hot cider, donuts and other treats provided by the Alps Sweet Shop and the City of Beacon Recreation Commission.

Beacon upcycled Christmas tree lighting, 2011 (Photo by Linda Hubbard)

“The bicycle element was chosen because it is a highly efficient vehicle depending mainly on the power of the individual to propel it,” said Benavente. “The bicycle is also symbolic of a healthier alternative to transportation and scale of interaction within a community. Cities like Beacon are propelled by the power of individuals. The bicycle tree is symbolic of those individual efforts coming together to form a creative display of unity. Even in a state of disrepair, discarded or neglected parts possess the potential for a new life once it has been recycled, reinvented and reimagined.”

Benavente will install the tree in the green space at Cross and Main Streets in Beacon, beginning Saturday morning (Dec. 8). People are encouraged to bring their own decorations suitable for outdoor use. “Making your own decorations from recycled materials would be a big bonus and keeping with our theme of upcycling,” said Benavente. For the truly creative and alternative-transportation-minded, come to the tree lighting on your own decorated bicycle. Decorating the tree will be an all-day affair.

Beacon Holiday Parade, 2010 (Photo by Linda Hubbard)

Beacon, the little Hudson Valley arts community that could, continues to reinvent and reimagine itself, fueled by the synergy between long-time citizens deeply rooted in the community and newcomers with an abundance of energy and creativity. Anchored by world-class contemporary art museum Dia:Beacon, Beacon is also becoming known as a city on the cutting edge of sustainable living and environmental awareness. Beacon is home to or works alongside various high-profile environmental groups and sustainable living thinkers — Scenic Hudson, Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries, Clearwater, Common Ground Farm and School of Jellyfish, to name just a few.

For more information about the tree-lighting and Beacon Second Saturday, visit the BeaconArts website,

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