• Joe Capozzi

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, How Lovely Are Thy Empty Heineken Bottle Branches!

Updated: Nov 30, 2021


Rachel Costigan with the Heineken tree she put together Sunday at OShea's Irish Pub in downtown West Palm Beach (Facebook)

MOVE OVER, SANDI. Downtown West Palm Beach has already had an iconic Christmas tree.


This one’s not made of sand like the city’s 10th annual 700-ton, 35-foot Christmas tree that went up on the east end of Clematis Street.


This one is green, like a real tree, and durable. It can't be climbed by vandals. And it can be viewed up close without having to stand behind barricades.


Just walk in the front door of O’Shea’s Irish Pub at 531 Clematis St. and look to your left. You can’t miss it.



In what has become a holiday tradition, the O’Shea’s Heineken bottle Christmas tree went up Sunday thanks to the sweat and enthusiasm of co-owner Rachel Costigan.


The tree is made from 280 empties that have been sent through the dishwasher, dried and set on a plexiglas base with dabs of adhesive shot from a glue gun.


From its base on a pub table, the tree rises 12 feet over a light bulb, in 13 layers. The top of the star touches the ceiling.



It took Rachel four hours to put it all together. And when it’s lit up, it glistens like a, well, like a Christmas tree.


“The green bottles let the light shine through,’’ she said.



Rachel thinks this might be at least the 15th year she has built the tree but she's not sure. She got the idea around 2010 when a friend told her about a Christmas tree in Australia made from bottles of Grolsch.


“I thought, ‘I can do that with Heineken bottles,’’’ she said. “I make it new every year.’’


When the holidays are over, the tree is dismantled, its bottles sent to the recycling bin. In October, she starts hoarding freshly-consumed empties for the next tree.



The Heineken Christmas tree will be one of the highlights of O’Shea’s annual charity Holiday Party at 7 p.m. Thursday when a free Thanksgiving dinner will be served to anyone who brings two children’s books.


“Everybody is welcome to come stand by the tree and have their picture taken,’’ Rachel said.



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IN CASE YOU MISSED my previous blog: Ten Cool Holiday Gifts You Can Buy Right Here In South Florida



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