Security camera images of vandals taking blubs off the holiday tree on Park Central Square in Springfield, Missouri
Springfield police are looking to identify the vandals who took bulbs off the holiday tree on Park Central Square early Thursday morning, Nov. 16. (Photo by Springfield Police Department)

To read this story, please sign in with your email address and password.

You’ve read all your free stories this month. Subscribe now and unlock unlimited access to our stories, exclusive subscriber content, additional newsletters, invitations to special events, and more.


Just two days before the Mayor’s Tree Lighting Holiday Show, some Grinches have vandalized the new holiday tree on Springfield’s Park Central Square.

In a post on social media, the Springfield Police Department said surveillance cameras on the square caught several individuals taking bulbs off the tree and breaking them. The 49-foot-tall artificial tree is new this year, purchased by the City of Springfield with the help of a $15,000 donation from the Hatch Foundation.

Police encourage anyone who knows the identity of the individuals involved to call them at (417) 864-1810 or send them a private message through Facebook or X (formerly known as Twitter).

The Mayor’s Tree Lighting Holiday Show is Saturday, Nov. 18, from 6-8:30 p.m. The evening includes live performances ranging from country to jazz and opera, as well as dance. Mayor Ken McClure will read “A Visit From St. Nicholas,” by Clement Clark Moore, more commonly known as “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Free copies of the book will be available, provided by the Mayor’s Commission for Children.

Families can take “Selfies with Santa” throughout the evening, enjoy free hot chocolate, cookies and candy canes, and take free horse-drawn carriage rides through downtown.

The Mayor’s Tree Lighting Holiday Show will be broadcast on Me TV starting at 7 p.m. and the tree will be lit just before 8. For more information, visit the city’s Festival of Lights website.

Jeff Kessinger

Jeff Kessinger is the Reader Engagement Editor for the Springfield Daily Citizen, and the voice of its daily newsletter SGF A.M. He covered sports in southwest Missouri for the better part of 20 years, from young athletes to the pros. The Springfield native and Missouri State University alumnus is thrilled to be doing journalism in the Queen City, helping connect the community with important information. He and wife Jamie daily try to keep a tent on the circus that is a blended family of five kids and three cats. More by Jeff Kessinger