June 29, 2015
Harveys Treehouse 500px
Harveys store No. 1670 store director Blake Thompson begins his 24-hour tree house sitting.​

Harveys No. 1670 store director Blake Thompson recently lived out a child’s dream when he spent 24 hours in the best tree house in Swainsboro, Georgia.

It was all part of the 70thannual Pine Tree Festival and Southeast Timber Expo’s festival tradition, and Thompson was selected as one of several pine tree sitters for the 2015 event.

The tree house was quite cozy—not your ordinary backyard shack. Thompson’s temporary home was fully equipped with several comforts, including cable television, radio and a coffee maker. Thompson spoke about his experience and his role as a Harveys store director on local radio stations, and the first listener to arrive at the tree house after the interview aired received a Harveys gift card.

“I couldn’t think of a better way to promote the annual Pine Tree Festival than taking part in the tree sitting portion,” said Thompson. “It’s a unique and different experience that really brings awareness to one of Swainsboro’s oldest attributes, and thus showcases the strong community we have to support this ongoing heritage.”

From April 11 to the beginning of the festival May 2, a different local celebrity climbed into the tree house every day at 5:30 p.m. The tradition is part of the fun of the festival, which celebrates the local importance of the timber industry. The event included various activities, including the Knotty Pine 5k & Fun Run, BBQ grill-off, the grand parade, car show and more.

The tree-sitting promotion for the festival began in 1952 when Ray Brinson built his own little tree house and lived in it for 30 days. The record, however, is 47 days and was set by a disc jockey. Although many of the original amenities within the tree house have changed throughout the years, a few things have remained the same. Since the beginning, local businesses and restaurants have generously donated meals and other supplies to the pine tree sitters using a milk crate and pulley system.

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