The Fountain Square Christmas Tree Tradition
Tradition Began Thanks to Woman's Club of Cincinnati
On December 20, 1913, at precisely 5:30pm, Mayor Henry Thomas Hunt pushed a ceremonial button that lit 2,000 lights on the first ever Cincinnati community Christmas Tree at Fountain Square. As church bells rang, the red, white and blue lights reflected magnificently off of the hundreds of feet of tinsel and garland surrounding the 45-foot tree. Mayor Hunt then accepted the tree on behalf of the city, a gift from the Woman’s Club.
A program of carolers, led by Mr. Hahn’s Band, spent the next hour providing entertainment as thousands of spectators joined in the singing of songs such as “Tannenbaum” and “America.”
The tree stayed at the Square until Jan. 2, with bands and carolers from all over the Queen City providing the entertainment.
The tree at the Fountain has been a tradition carried on every season since 1913 by many local organizations, including the Elks Club who used the event to provide needy children clothes and food.
Over the years, the staging has grown and become more elaborate, with dozens of trees and lights and today, LED lights and an ice-skating rink.
And we have the Woman’s Club in 1913 to thank for this time-honored holiday tradition in the Queen City.