Every year locals in the quaint Suffolk town of Framlingham gather for ‘Festive Fram’ - the annual switching on of the festive lights around their huge Scandinavian Christmas tree.
But this year revellers were left disappointed when their tree was replaced by a lone flagpole decorated with tinsel.
The underwhelming moment was the product of an unfortunate state of affairs after the traditional tree, paid for by local businesses, failed to arrive when another fir fell on the delivery driver and left him hospitalised.
A replacement was ordered but also failed to arrive.
The disappointment has echoes of people’s gripe about Trafalgar Square’s Christmas tree, which has been dubbed ‘anaemic’ and ‘thin’.
Rather than let the event be spoiled, the business association came up with the idea of erecting a flag-pole with a star on top and stringing some lights on it.
But despite their efforts, some residents voiced their disappointment at the pole, which has been erected in Market Hill in the centre of the town.
Sue Foster said: “Sorry folks have I missed something, popped up to town yesterday to catch the end of festive fram, what an earth has happened to the tree, a decorated pole can't really be it.”
But another person backed the emergency effort, saying: “I think it looked really nice last night, it’s all decorated with lights.”
A spokesman from Framlingham Business Association said it was a “huge disappointment” that their ordered tree didn't arrive in time.
But he added: “We are still festive... it is just not the tree we expected. It's not worth getting another now.
“A lot of people have been saying this is an eco way to go, so it's something to look at.”
Ed Sheeran grew up in the town and now lives in a nearby private estate.