Icon-ic tree in Luton isn’t just for Christmas

The tree outside the Icon Hotel
The tree outside the Icon Hotel

Cue music...

Well I wish it could be Christmas everyday

When the kids start singing and the band begins to play

Oh I wish it could be Christmas everyday

So let the bells ring out for Christmas

Someone once had a Wizzard idea that it should be Christmas all year round.

And at first glance it would appear that this advice from the 1973 hit song has been taken up by Luton’s Icon Hotel in Stuart Street.

I was contacted by a reader this week who was astounded that now we’d crept into February, the hotel still had its Christmas tree up outside with all the lights still on.

I wandered over there and sure enough there was a tree in place with lights twinkling away.

So I took the photo you see above, mentioned it on social media and it prompted a few people to scoff...

“Well in that case they can expect bad luck then.”

“Someone on Leagrave High Street and Luton Road still have their lights on!!!”

I approached the hotel for an explanation and they were keen to point out to readers that they weren’t being lazy by leaving the tree in place.

Owner Franco Anacreonte explained that the tree hadn’t been installed to solely represent Christmas.

He said: “The tree planted outside the main entrance to the Icon is something I’ve wanted to do for some time now.

“Aside from celebrating being open 7 years (end of November 2016), the idea behind the planting of the tree was really to add some greenery to what is a very red brick building.

“Above all however, we want the tree to be a local focal point and discussion items, much like the classic Fiat 500 on the roof and a classic 1968 Vespa in the fish tank.

“Our tree is not a Christmas tree, although I can easily understand why it has been mistaken as such. It is in fact a Fir tree (Abies Nordmanniana) and was purchased locally and installed on the 4th November 4, 2016 at a total cost of over £6,000. It will grow to between 18 -25 metres tall. The provider won Grower of Year Award in 2015.

“Although we did add lights in time for the festive season, it is very much our intention to keep lights on the tree all year round. We are of the opinion that lights on trees do not necessarily represent Christmas and many establishments use year-round external lighting adorning trees or buildings to enhance and create feeling.

“At the Icon we like to think outside the box as much as possible and very much enjoy creating discussion around the town.”

I seem to recall The Warden pub in Barton Road also used to have lights on a tree in its car park all year round (prior to it being converted from a Beefeater to an Orange Cow).

Anyway, now you know. If you thought it was decorated just for Christmas you were barking up the wrong tree...