As Norman residents gear up for Christmas, a local Christmas tree farm is hosting its annual event to help bring in the holiday season.
The Wells Family Christmas Tree Farm is preparing to host its annual Opening Day Magic event from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov 27 at its farm on 4091 E Franklin Rd. The event, held every year on Black Friday, is open to the public and helps the local family farm kick off its busiest time of the year.
The opening day event comes from humble origins — the idea came after Katy and Jesse Wells bought their first Christmas tree. Katy said when they first started selling trees on their farm in 2017, it was important to them to make the tree-buying experience a memorable one.
“When we got our first Christmas tree and we got the idea to do this, I just remember thinking, ‘If we did something like this, what could people be doing while they’re waiting for us to process their tree?,'" Katy said. “The first thought was we could give them some hot chocolate, and that’s where it started and it’s just grown. We don’t want people to just come get their tree and then rush back out.”
Fast forward to 2020, and opening weekend has become a staple for the Wells. In addition to visitors getting to select their own tree, the eight-hour event now includes live music in the afternoon and several food trucks available for attendees. There are also games available for the family like ping pong and cornhole, as well as hot chocolate and apple cider.
Jesse said the staff heavily prepares for this event.
“We’ve realized this year that we’re starting to become known around the community,” Jesse said. “It’s fun and exciting to see the community rallying around us. We have people that just come out and volunteer for our opening weekend. We put everything we have into this time of year.”
The Wells said masks are mandated among the staff, and they have hung up signs around the farm encouraging people to social distance and wear masks.
Katy said they have stressed having fun but also being safe for the event and for the rest of the holiday season.
“We worried the events we’ve had would be affected attendance wise, but what we’ve seen is they’ve basically doubled in attendance,” Katy said. “There’s plenty of room to social distance out here, which I think has been the attraction. (People get to be) outside and do something with their families, but also have plenty of room to safely distance themselves from each other... I think it will be the same for our tree season.
“We want people to know we’re trying to do our part in keeping customers safe and keeping our staff and their families safe."
Katy said Friday is a come and go event, but she encourages visitors to plan to be at the farm for most of the day.
“I tell people every year that even if you don’t want to buy a tree, just come anyway and hangout,” Katy said. “I think it will help people turn off the anxieties of 2020 for a little bit and enjoy time with their families. But that’s always what we’ve wanted, even before 2020.”