When winter rolls around, Columbia resident Randy Fletcher’s holiday-spirit-inducing alter ego, Will Treelighter, emerges.
Will Treelighter is known for encrusting trees with so many mini Christmas lights that they look downright magical. His most famous creation is the Magic Tree at the Village of Cherry Hill in Columbia. This Friday, his newest creation will be unveiled.
The “Tiger Bounce Magic Tree” will be lit for the first time at 6 p.m. at 3601 Buttonwood Drive to celebrate the grand opening of Tiger Bounce, an inflatable children’s entertainment center. The tree is sponsored by Tiger Bounce, the Bank of Missouri, Emery Sapp & Sons and Beacon Street Properties.
Tiger Bounce is offering a weekend of half-off admissions, giveaways and treats in honor of their grand opening. They’re also holding a coloring contest for children under the age of 12. The winning child will receive a free birthday party at Tiger Bounce.
All of Fletcher’s eight mini-light covered trees are unique, and the Tiger Bounce tree will be no exception. The tree will feature some chili pepper shaped lights along with the more classic variety.
Fletcher is a painting contractor and residential Christmas light installer by profession. Twenty years ago he decided to completely wrap a tree in his yard with mini-lights, and the rest is history.
With the goal of making his unique tree more accessible, Fletcher decorated the official Magic Tree at the Village of Cherry Hill in 2010. Since then, several people have hired him to create more of his signature trees.
Fletcher decorates a tree at Shakespeare’s Pizza’s downtown location, one at Unity of Columbia, one on Greenwood Avenue and one east of Ashland Road annually. He continues to decorate the original tree in his yard, and even decorates a tree in Lee’s Summit and Boonville.
While a mini-light covered tree may seem trivial, Fletcher sees a deeper meaning in his creations. He says the beauty people see in his trees is a reflection of what’s inside of them.
“The purpose of the magic trees is to remind us to seek out the light,” Fletcher says.