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Woody, Dartmouth’s famous talking tree, wakes up for another holiday season

Mall icon brought out of retirement last year for the first time since 2007

3 min read
caption People gather in Mic Mac Mall in Dartmouth to celebrate the Wake Up Woody event.
Cheng Yang

Woody, a giant mechanical Christmas tree, is back for the season to talk to children.

A crowd gathered at the Mic Mac Mall in Dartmouth on Saturday for the official Wake Up Woody ceremony. After traditional Mi’kmaq drumming and dancing performances, Santa Claus led the countdown.

“Well, shake my branches! Hello everyone!” said Woody, his eyes blinking. “I’m so happy to be back again this year.”

“Hi Woody!” a chorus of children echoed back.

Lindsey Murphy brought her three-year-old son Jerry White, who told Woody he wanted a Magna-Tiles toy for Christmas. Murphy said Woody was “good for the community” and she used to see him when she was a child.

Woody was a fixture at the mall for decades until his retirement in 2007. He reappeared last year after a makeover.

In-person access to Woody was cut off in mid-December last year due to provincial COVID-19 restrictions.

Guojum Yang brought his 10-year-old son, Harkin, to see Woody for the first time Saturday.

“It means our lives are getting normal like before the pandemic, and I’m happy to see that,” said Yang.

caption Three-year-old Jerry White talks to Woody the Talking Christmas Tree.
Cheng Yang

Lindsay Cochrane, Mic Mac Mall’s marketing manager, said Woody “definitely represents the Christmas spirit.” She remembers seeing Woody when she was a child visiting from Toronto.

“Now he’s world famous, and he’s made it to Jimmy Fallon show all over the world. It’s crazy,” she said.

Woody fan Scott Wayne Pearson doesn’t think Fallon got it right.

“It’s not good,” Pearson said. “Because he made fun of Woody and said that it was another episode of Squid Game. So I was like, no.”

Woody will be in the mall until Dec. 23. “Happy holidays! I will ‘tree’ you later!”

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