The iconic tree standing center stage at the Scheels store in Sioux Falls is no longer standing. But it will get a second life in Brookings.
For more than a decade, a man-made tree stood as the centerpiece of the Sioux Falls Scheels store but now is in pieces lying in the store's back parking lot. It's the first thing to go, making way for a 16 month renovation.
"It's sad to see it go but knowing we'll go to a 200,000 square foot store with more space, it will make for a better customer experience when they come in doors," Scheels Store Manager Chris Cray said.
But the tall oak is getting its second 'leaf' on life at the Children's Museum of South Dakota.
"It's so wonderful for Scheels to donate this to both add another layer of imagination to the museum. It's wonderful," Museum Board Member Susan Quello said.
Quello is in charge of getting the tree to Brookings. Once it's there, it will be reconstructed in a warehouse.
"The creative minds at the Children's Museum are thinking of fun ways to incorporate it into the Prairie Room," Quello said.
And moving the tree is not an easy job. It reaches 65 feet tall and is made of steel, concrete and wood. Augustana College football players volunteered to help load the heavy pieces.
And while it's unknown when the tree will be a centerpiece at the museum, Cray is happy to see it go to a loving home.
"The tree will be able to live on for many years down the road," Cray said.
During the renovation, Scheels plans to build an indoor Ferris wheel in place of the tree. It is expected to be completed by 2014.
We went into the KELOLAND archives and found this 2002 video of the tree being built.