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Tree causes Christmas confusion in the middle of downtown Inola

The streets are decked in Christmas cheer. Wreaths are hung. Lights are strung. The tree is proudly in the middle of Inola’s busiest intersection. (KTUL)

Some people in Inola are taking to social media asking ‘How do I get around this giant tree in the middle of an intersection?’. It may sound strange, but it’s all in the Christmas spirit.

The streets are decked in Christmas cheer. Wreaths are hung. Lights are strung. The tree is proudly in the middle of Inola’s busiest intersection.

“I believe that the first tree was in the early ‘70s,” says Mayor Larry Grigg.

Grigg remembers it. He’s lived here all his life.

“Well, the first time they hooked it up,” he says. “There were no such thing as blinking lights. And they plugged it into the light. So when the traffic light would blink the tree lights would blink. So we really were ahead of our time with that.”

So, he brought it back.

“At first,” he says. “They wanted to put it on this corner right here and some of the guys that are on the board that have been there for a while said ‘Hey, why don’t we put it in the middle of town like it used to be’.”

But it does create some Christmas confusion.

“Yeah, that was the discussion on Facebook,” Grigg says. “’How do you make left turns?’, ‘Do you go in front of it or do you go out and around it?’.”

“Mostly, people can’t figure out which way they want to go around it,” says Inola Chief of Police Brad Craig. “If they want to go to the right or to the left.”

Craig’s office is on the corner.

“The correct way,” he explains. “Depending on which direction you’re going and the traffic there is to go to the right of it.”

You see it, technically, turns the four-way stop into a roundabout.

“From back east,” says Grigg with a laugh. “Those traffic circles like the one they have in Tulsa.”

But Chief Craig isn’t going to sweat the small stuff.

“It’s kind of one of those things,” he says. “Most people will figure it out, they’ve got common sense enough to get around it and negotiate it. We haven’t had any wrecks or anything like that.”

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