A town in Ontario is making headlines for all the wrong reasons, after the highly anticipated Christmas tree unveiling received very mixed reviews.
On Friday evening, locals gathered in Orillia for its annual tree-lighting ceremony, a beloved tradition heralding the start of the holiday season season.
However, as Mayor Don McIsaac kicked off the festivities with a grand countdown, residents were left scratching their heads.
As the countdown reached its crescendo, the crowd held its collective breath... and then, a gasp rippled through the audience as only the trunk of the tree lit up in a lacklustre glow. Cue the collective confusion.
Some brave souls initiated a second countdown, perhaps hoping that the festive magic had simply encountered a minor technical hiccup. But alas, it seemed the tree had chosen its destiny—a spotlight on its bark and branches only, leaving the rest shrouded in darkness.
"That's it?" one person can be heard asking in the video. "What the hell?"
Many people in Orillia left disappointment after watching the Christmas tree light up in Orillia on Friday.— Muskoka411 News (@Muskoka411) November 19, 2023
Video Credit: Joel Redmond pic.twitter.com/tELzKcOsJS
However, the mishap didn't merely remain a local affair; it catapulted into cyberspace, grabbing the attention of none other than late-night maestro Jimmy Fallon.
In a recent segment on The Tonight Show, Fallon regaled his audience with the tale of "a town in Canada" that had a "big tree lighting" moment. Cue the video footage, cue the bewildered expressions, cue the eruption of laughter from the live audience.
My little town of Orillia ON, Canada 🇨🇦 where I grew up & my family still lives in and I visit all the time... made it onto Jimmy Fallon 🇺🇸— Celeste Anderson (@itsBiiTTERSWEET) November 21, 2023
P.S. Apparently, the branches of the tree are dying, but they forgot to tell the crowd their resolution was to light up the trunk only 🥲 pic.twitter.com/CsHSnuYYA4
"You know you've hit a glitch when you get a Canadian riled up enough to say 'hell'," Fallon quipped, capturing the essence of the incredulous reaction.
As expected, the digital realm erupted with a flurry of reactions, none too flattering. Social media became a canvas for creative commentary and good-natured ribbing, solidifying the tree-lighting blip as a momentary sensation.
Online commenters are calling it the "worst Christmas tree in Canada."
Another person said, pun intended, people should "lighten up. Yes, it was underwhelming. Yes, the commentary was funny. Just remember, though, that we can have a laugh about things without being so damn serious."
"Apparently the opera house tree is sick and it is dying, the city arborist suggested not to put lights on the tree, the weight of all the strings of lights was a tremendous burden on the tree," commented someone on X, formerly known as Twitter.
"That same feeling when you go to the grocery store and see how little you got for $100," wrote another person.
"was Clark Griswold in charge of the lights?," added another.
And sure enough, there were good reasons for the decision to light the tree's trunk and not the boughs. But despite the unexpected tree-lighting hiccup, Orillia's event brought locals together, fostering a heartwarming sense of community during the festive season, and unexpectedly put the town in the spotlight, adding a dash of fun publicity to the mix.