TIVERTON, R.I. (WPRI) — The day after Thanksgiving generally signifies the start of the holiday season, and even during a global pandemic, many families are out searching for their perfect Christmas tree.
Jean Helger Bento, owner of Pachet Brook Tree Farm in Tiverton, said because her farm is 20 acres of open space, families feel comfortable enough to visit.
Ever since they opened last Sunday, she said business has been booming.
“We realized we are extremely busy, almost to record capacity,” Bento said. “People want to be happy. It’s been a tough year for everyone, and families are more family-oriented because we have all been forced to stay in the house together and now this is another opportunity to get out and do something.”
But Bento said between a summer drought and COVID-19, this season has been very different for the farm.
“There is a lot to opening this year due to COVID, we had a lot of work and preparation to do to follow the state guidelines,” Bento said.
In order to safely wander around Bento’s farm and select a tree, customers are required to wear face masks and practice social distancing. Once the tree is selected, only one family member from each group will be allowed to go to the payment window and hand in the tag identifying the tree.
“We cut the tree, we bring it down to the barn area, curbside pickup and they get their trees there,” Bento said.
Despite the success local tree farms are seeing, the National Christmas Tree Federation said across the country, many tree farms decided not to open this year due to the challenges of the pandemic.