Jack Daniel to spread Lynchburg holiday “spirit” to four other U.S. cities

Raising a glass around the Barrel Tree is a Lynchburg tradition. Now folks in Chicago, Dallas, Milwaukee, and Nashville can join us. {Photo courtesy of Jack Daniel’s Distillery}

LOCAL NEWS — Rockefeller Center in New York City has their 70 foot high decorated Norway spruce and Lynchburg has their Holiday Barrel Tree. It’s been a Lynchburg tradition since 2011, and it’s one of southern, middle Tennessee’s favorite holiday photo ops.

This year, the folks at Jack Daniel’s Distillery will spread the “spirit” of a Lynchburg Christmas to four other U.S. cities including Chicago, Dallas, Milwaukee, and Nashville.

“At Jack Daniel’s, we like to say that good cheer is our number one export to the world,” said Master Distiller Jeff Arnett. “The barrel tree in Lynchburg has a special way of bringing people together, just like Operation Ride Home, and we hope friends either living in or visiting these locations will stop by and join us as we celebrate this most special holiday season. After all, it’s not what’s under the tree that’s important, but who’s around it.”

Each tree stands 26 feet tall and is constructed of 140 American white oak barrels. With five total trees, including the original in Lynchburg, that’s 700 empty whiskey barrels. That’s okay. Since the distillery only uses new, white oak barrels to age our local product, there’s usually plenty of extras around.

The barrel trees take a crew of dedicated folks over a week to erect. Each barrel weighs around 115 pounds empty. The job would be a lot harder if they were full of 53.3 gallons of whiskey and weighing over 500 pounds.

Each barrel used to construct the trees once contained Tennessee whiskey and the top barrel of each tree will be auctioned off to support Operation Ride Home, a partnership with the Armed Services YMCA.

Since the program began, 7,232 junior-enlisted service members and those with families have made the trip home to see loved ones over the holidays because of Operation Ride Home. Men and women from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard have been assisted with travel to all 50 states.

The original barrel tree in Lynchburg will be lit on December 7 at dusk. This year, the tree will be relocated to the Whiskey Gardens, which is the area next to the Jack Daniel pedestrian bridge near the entrance to the Visitor’s Center. According to Lynchburg Homeplace Manager Steve May this will make it more accessible to our guests. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

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