The Trees Are On Their Way! Belmont Lions Club Returns With 66th Annual XMas Tree & Wreath Sale

Photo: The annual Christmas Tree & Wreath sale starts on Friday, Nov. 24 at 2 p.m.

While the day after Thanksgiving is known as “Black Friday,” many residents in Belmont view the day as “Green Friday” as the first load of Christmas trees arrives at the World War I Memorial for the Belmont Lions Club’s 66th annual Tree & Wreath Sale.

Student-athletes from Belmont High School will be at the Memorial delta on Friday, Nov. 24, to unload the trees that have traveled from a farm in Nova Scotia that has been supplying the sale since 1957. Until Christmas Eve, Lions Club members and volunteers will help residents select their favorite evergreens, stack them onto cars and SUVs, or wrap them up for the hardy souls carrying them home.

Tree sale hours are:

  • Nov. 24: The sale opens at 2 p.m.
  • Monday to Friday: Noon to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m

Parking on Common Street adjacent to the Lions Club will be blocked off for the month the sale occurs.

While the cost of trees has risen by 10 percent since 2022, the Lions Club’s board has kept the same prices as last year.

A majority of the money raised will go to eye research, which is the central national charity of the Lions Club, while a tip jar will benefit local causes.

One word of advice: Don’t wait! The sale usually sees the last tree leave the delta a week before Christmas.

Lions Roaring Back With Trees, Wreaths This Christmas Time

Photo: Selecting the right tree at the Belmont Lions Club tree sale

Alright, yes, I know Halloween is more than a week away and Thanksgiving’s turkey and football game is still off in the distance. But Monday, Oct. 18, residents were reminded Christmas is just around the corner as the Select Board approved the annual license for the Belmont Lions Club to sell trees and wreaths outside of its clubhouse on Royal Road at the commuter rail station.

The club will sell Nova Scotia gown trees – from the same farm since the sale began in 1957 – and wreaths, mantle pieces, baskets and many other holidays items from Friday, Nov. 26 through Friday, Dec. 24. But don’t dawdle: last year the trees sold out early so get them as soon as they come off the truck.

Lions Secretary Felix Firenze told the board it will continue the Covid-19 restrictions and contract tracing from last year at the site at the corner of Common Street and Royal Road just outside of Belmont Center. It will also keep last year’s hours of operation: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday; and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weeknights.

“We have all the protocols that we needed to get through this pandemic and it was very successful for us [in 2020],” said Firenze.

In addition, the club will keep the revamped parking and pickup practice caused by the rerouting of the MBTA bus last year.

“It sort of ran right through [the site] but you soldiered on and worked your way through it and I’m thanking you for that,” said Adam Dash, Select Board chair.

In addition, the Lions have already set the date for the 2021 Traveling Santa: Saturday, Dec 18. So be good.

“It’s a wonderful operation, Felix, and a great service for our community,” said Board Member Mark Paolillo.

Find Your Christmas Tree in the Belmont Lions (Club) Den

Photo: Alex (left) and Mary Rogul perusing the wares at the Belmont Lions’ annual Christmas Tree Sale.

Belmont resident Mary Rogul walked along rows of evergreens with her son, Alex, 10, in search of the Christmas tree to be their home’s holiday centerpiece.

And what makes a certain tree the “right” one for the Rogul clan?

“A really chubby one so we can hang all the decorations,” said Alex as they perused on a sunny Sunday afternoon, Nov. 26.

“We come by each year because they do sell the best trees,” said Mary, who came with Alex, husband Emerick and son Nathan, 8.

For nearly 70 years after Thanksgiving, the triangle in front of the Belmont Lions Club becomes the center of the local Christmas tree universe as approximately 3,000 trees and wreaths travel 14 hours from a farm in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia as part of the Lions’ annual Christmas Tree Sale along Royal Road at the entrance of Belmont Center.

“It’s a great community give-back as it serves so many causes,” said John McNamara, who is one of four team captains who leads the 50-plus volunteers who work the sale. 

The tree and wreath sale is the Lions’ biggest annual fundraiser, said McNamara, with the money supporting Mass Eye Research, the Lions Club International Foundation, Diabetes Awareness, scholarships for students at Belmont High School, community activities, Lions Clubhouse Historic Preservation and more activities.

The proceeds of this year’s tip jar goes to Belmont S.P.O.R.T. and Adaptive Sports New England.

Trees are sold from noon to 9 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends, “until the last tree is gone” which occurs usually a week before Christmas, said McNamara. 

“The reason we sell out is people come back each year because they know the money they spend goes to a good cause. It’s not like we’re making a profit. Everyone is donating their time,” he said.

The prices for trees are according to the height indicated on the board next to the wrapping area.

  • 4 feet   $23
  • 5 feet   $32
  • 6 feet   $40
  • 7 feet   $45
  • 8 feet   $50
  • 9 feet   $55+
  • Special shaped trees are priced as marked.
  • Wreaths range from $12 for a small 12-inch plain one to more than $35 for a decorated (bow and ) 24-inch.

There are also tree stands, tree bags, and center and mantelpieces for sale.

And the Roguls took home a Balsam Fir that was wrapped up and placed on the family car.

“We like to support local business and we care about Belmont,” said Mary.

Here Comes Santa Claus: Kris Kringle Takes the T to Belmont [VIDEO]

Photo:Santa in Belmont for the second time this week.

Each year, Santa Claus makes his annual visit to the Belmont Lions Club’s Children Christmas Party via the MBTA commuter rail, always arriving at Belmont station on the 2:30 p.m. train.

Because he’s ageless, Santa only has to pay $2.75 from his trip from the North Pole.

Santa recruited Belmont’s Becca Pizzi as his special elf this year.

Now Into Its Sixth Decade, Belmont Lions Has The Right X-Mas Tree For Everyone

Photo: The Folan’s have their perfect tree.

While growing up as a child in the UK, Somerset Street’s Edward Young would join his family as they would go out and “dig out or cut our Christmas tree.”

But on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 29, with his family in tow, Young came to Royal Road adjacent to the commuter rail station to select a tree from a few hundred. 

“This is much easier,” he said of his yearly trek to the Belmont Lions Club Christmas Tree and Wreath Sale. 

And he has a particular type.

“I look for the right height for the house and that it’s nice and bushy,” said Young. 


The Youngs joined a steady stream of residents and people from surrounding towns to the annual migration of folks who for the past half century have ventured down to the Lions Club in Belmont Center looking for that “right” Christmas tree (all from one farm in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia); the one that fills the living room, frames the front window or stands on the upstairs landing. 

From 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (they may close up a little early on bad weather nights), the Belmont Lions –  one of 46,000 local clubs worldwide with more than 1.35 million members in 200 countries – will be there to help you find “your” tree.


Dan MacAuley, a Lions past president, said he and his 60 fellow members (supplemented by volunteers from the Belmont High School sports teams) will spend the last Saturday in November until Christmas Eve selling approximately 2,700 trees – all balsam firs – and more than 2,000 wreaths, mantle pieces, and cemetery baskets.

Price is determined by the “official” measuring stick located next where the trees are prepared for traveling; a 7-footer will put you back $43.

But don’t wait until the last minute to get “your” tree.

“They’ve sold out every year I’ve been here, and I have doing this for 14 years,” said MacAuley.

The sale’s proceeds go to help the Lions Internationals’ SightFirst programs focusing on its Childhood Blindness Project and other sight-related charities as well as funding a pair of scholarships at Belmont High School.

“A lot of it stays here in town,” said MacAuley.


This year, change and donations placed in the “tip” jar will go to Belmont S.P.O.R.T. (Special Programs Organized for Recreation Time) which provides activities for individuals of all ages with special needs.

Peter Folan from Monroe Street came with the wife and kids and found “the perfect tree for the occasion,” said Folan.

Why is it the right tree?

“It’s the perfect height, and it’s plump and it resembles his dad,” said Folan, pointing to his son.


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A Belmont Lions Share of Christmas Trees and Wreaths Now on Sale

Belmont residents Colleen Ford and Linda Garrity slowly made their way up and down the evergreens standing outside the Belmont Lions Club on Saturday, Nov. 29.

Like each year, they ventured down to Belmont Center looking for that “right” Christmas tree.

“You don’t want it too big because over time they fill out,” said Garrity.

Nor should it be too tall as the tree will be placed in the kitchen, explained Ford.

“We put it there because the window looks out over the access road [to Route 2],” she said.

“We think it’s nice for drivers to see, and it’s also a way to show off a little,” Ford said.

The pair were some of the first customers on the first day of the annual Belmont Lions Club Christmas tree and wreath sale which has transformed into its own holiday tradition for hundreds of families in Belmont and the surrounding communities for the past five decades.

“Our family does this each year,” said Kristen Lonero, who was back from attending Curry College to help her father get the right tree.

“We know the people so this is like a Belmont reunion,” said Lonero, who not so many years ago spent time with fellow athletes at the Club – one of the 46,000 local clubs worldwide with more than 1.35 million members in 200 countries – located under the Belmont station of the MBTA commuter rail line.

Lion’s President Kevin Vona said he and his 63 fellow members will spend from last Saturday until Christmas Eve selling approximately 2,800 trees and 2,000 wreaths, “but every year we sell out before the 24th.”

Supplemented by volunteers from the Belmont High School sports teams – Boys’ hockey and lacrosse were there to unload the first delivery of trees while softball created wreaths – “we all do our little part to make this a success,” said Vona.

Former Belmont resident Al Gledhill was placing trees on mini-van roofs with the expertise of someone who loves to volunteer.

“It’s the season,” said Al.

The sale’s proceeds go to help the Lions Internationals’ SightFirst programs that focus on its Childhood Blindness Project and other sight-related charities as well as fund a pair of scholarships at Belmont High School.

This year, change and donations placed in the “tip” jar will go to Belmont S.P.O.R.T. (Special Programs Organized for Recreation Time) which provides activities for individuals of all ages with special needs.
“People come here not just that it’s close, but they know the money they spend here is going to a worthy cause,” said Vona.

While the weekends can be busy, and the traffic traveling up Royal Road can cause everyone to do a “quick step” to avoid a collision, “I think everyone has a blast coming here. Our guys and the customers,” said Vona.

Jasyn Tandy and his daughter, Elise, were spying a couple of trees to select.

“She definitely has a voice in which one we select,” said Tandy of his toddler who was looking with a family friend.

With the selection made, Tandy decided to put the tree over his shoulder and head up Royal Road (he only lives three houses up the street.”

“My daddy’s strong,” said Elise.