The sight of a Christmas tree at night through a window is a peaceful feeling, as shown by the trees on the second floor of the Ravalli County Museum (photo above).

Steve Boshae provides live trees for such scenes, selling both wild and farm trees at his pop-up location in the Hamilton Albertson's parking lot. For the past 16 years, he's been dedicating a portion of each sale to the Hamilton High School Band program. He estimates that sales of the trees, along with his donations from July fireworks sales, have raised over $10,000 for replacement of instruments and other needs of the band program. And, each year, members of the band show up for an imprompu Christmas concert at the sales lot. This past Wednesday afternoon, director Shawn Thacker brought the students out for a 45-minute concert as a "thank you" to Steve.

Boshae (photo below) said he's had more than the usual interest in trees this year. He thinks that with COVID-19 threats cutting back on holiday travel plans, many people are staying at home for a private Christmas and need a tree. His supply is already running low. He expects the farm trees to be gone within a week and a half and the wild trees are moving out of the lot quickly, too. He said sales of tree stands, wreaths and swags have also been brisk.

After Christmas, he'll be back in the same location with fireworks. The New Year's Eve celebrations increasingly include fireworks bursting in air. His Brown Cow Fireworks had higher than expected sales in July, again because of more private celebrations due to the COVID threat, and he expects the same thing for the three days of sales before January 1st. Boshae has been responsible for Hamilton's public July 4th display for a number of years and on New Year's Eve, he'll be lighting off a display at the Stock Farm Club northeast of town.

Steve Boshae, among the trees. (Steve Fullerton, Townsquare Media)

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