Town Square lighting

People catch a first glimpse of holiday lights on the Town Square on Friday. Christmastime can mean only one thing: The Jackson Hole Young Life Mr. Christmas Tree pageant.

Tonight is your chance to see four high school boys leave it all on the stage, including some pine needles, in the annual Mr. Christmas Tree pageant, which starts at 7 p.m. tonight at the Pink Garter Theatre.

For the fourth year, Jackson Hole Young Life is hosting the event that features a boy from each high school grade dressing up as a literal Christmas tree.

"We cut down and decorate trees," organizer Alli Lane said, "and we duct tape it to them."

Each has a theme for his Christmas tree, which is decorated by his female peers. Freshman Mason Evans will have a cowboy-themed tree, and sophomore Brody Hasenack will follow a "beach boy" motif.

Junior Aidan Walker will be adorned in a "Barbie girl" tree, and senior Sam Johnson will strut his stuff as a 1970s-themed tree.

Not just anyone can be in the Mr. Christmas Tree pageant. The four boys were nominated by their peers to represent their grades, and the audience will ultimately decide which one takes home the top prize, judging them on costume, talent, an interview and the parade of trees.

Lane said the event is simply entertaining.

"It's really fun to highlight the high school kids," she said.

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Contact Tom Hallberg at 732-7079 or

Tom Hallberg covers a little bit of everything, from skiing to long-form feature stories. A Teton Valley, Idaho, transplant by way of Portland and Bend, Oregon, he spends his time outside work writing fiction, splitboarding and climbing.

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