Oneonta general store donates Rockefeller Center Christmas tree

Nov 16, 2020

This year, a world-famous holiday sight has its roots in Oneonta, NY.

Al Dick has owned Daddy Al’s General Store in Oneonta for 23 years. Dick says Rockefeller Center approached him about the 75-foot tall, 45-foot in diameter, 11-ton Norway Spruce.

“The tree is on the side of the road,” Dick said. “And so Eric, the head gardener for Rockefeller Center, his daughter was going to Delhi College, so when he had time he would ride around the city area here looking for a tree and he passed our tree. He immediately saw that, got the neighbor, and the neighbor sent him to the store in Oneonta. So we talked to him and that’s how it went!”

Credit Daddy Al's General Store

Dick says like many other stores, his is not immune to the COVID-19 economy, and Daddy Al’s General Store has seen a dip in sales.

“It’s not been increasing, it’s been down,” Dick said. “Since this fall it’s been pretty slow so we’re doing the best we can.”

But Dick says they’re still open and haven’t had any trouble enforcing the city’s mask mandate.

“We’re a local store,” Dick said. “Everybody knows us. So they’re all doing it. And, you know, we practice cleanliness and so far we haven’t had any problems at all.”

Dick is an Army veteran who served in Vietnam, and says it was only fitting that they came to take the tree to New York City the day after Veterans Day.  

Dick doesn’t know if having his tree in Rockefeller Center would help business, but he says either way, donating it was the right thing to do.

“It’s a good thing,” Dick said. “You know, this year’s been terrible. Everything’s been canceled. So we’re happy that the tree hasn’t been canceled. It’s a good thing to give to people. You know? It just seemed like the right thing to do.”