SKYPAC Christmas tree features tree topper made from tornado debris

SKYPAC's 25 foot Christmas tree is topped with a star made from debris from last December's tornado
Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 11:25 PM EST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - The first anniversary of the 2021 tornados are right around the corner, and between SKYPAC and Erksine Concepts, these organizations have allowed something tragic to be turned into something celebrated.

SKyPAC’s community Christmas tree has a surprise- one that’s even bigger than the fact it’s 25 feet tall.

The tree’s main attraction will be what sits on top, and it isn’t any old tree topper, but a star crafted from debris left over during the 2021 December tornado.

“The first thought was it’s supposed to be a tree topper which is normally a star and the SKYPAC symbol kind of resembles a star a little bit, so we took that symbol and turned it on it’s side a little bit to make the star,” said Randall Erskine, the artist behind the design.

Erskine and his team found scrap metal from homes, while cleaning up aftermath of the tornado on Magnolia Street, where it once graced the top of a home.

“The star is all made out of aluminum, but all of the bronze-colored aluminum that you see is actually off of a roof that was a house on magnolia that was sadly taken down during the tornados,” said Erskine.

The artist knew he wanted to make art out of the debris they gathered, but just hadn’t found the right thing to use it on, until SKYPAC contacted him about making the topper for the tree.

“We had no power here, so I was like well it’s just a sign I need to go help. So, the whole time we helped, and I ended up keeping quite a bit of debris that I found just because I wanted to make something. I had no idea it was going to be a star and something for the community. I just wanted to make some little art piece,” said Erskine.

After two weeks of hard work and overtime, “Erskine Concepts” made SKyPAC’s idea of re-imagining something devastating as something beautiful, a reality.

“It represents the struggles that our community went through. It’s about the time of the year and what that means to us,” said Jeff Reed the President and CEO of SKYPAC.

The star is currently sitting atop the tree at four feet by four feet, but it will not all be lit until SKyPAC’s tree lighting ceremony on December 2nd at 5:30p.m.

“It’s not really so much about what all that we did here it’s very much a symbol of the community in my opinion of how everything works together and the whole community, just like during the storm, all came together to help,” said Erskine.

If you want to see the star atop the tree, you can drive by SKYPAC anytime.

After December 2nd the star will be lit up with the rest of the tree to celebrate the holiday season and remind us of a time we all overcame tragedy as a community.