Thousands bid Toomer’s oaks farwell

Toomer Oaks

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AUBURN, Ala. (WIAT) – Among the thousands who have experience with the long standing tradition of rolling the oaks on Toomer’s Corner, 4-year-old William Ellard is a rookie.

“What do you think about all of this,” CBS42 reporter Scott Packard asked the boy. “Ummmmm…..big trees!” William  responded.

His stepfather brought him out the celebration marking the final rolling of the trees. He wants to make sure William is a part of history.

“The tradition that goes with it, to have some memory of it. Not that it is going to end but it will be the last time with these trees,” Phillip Cowart said about his stepson.

April 20, 2012 will be the last time the trees get the toilet paper treatment. Not salvageable after poisoning, they will be removed and something new put in their place.

The tradition started about four decades ago with wires that used to cross the intersection. The trees become the center of the celebration about ten years later.

“Oh man, this is a big tradition. It’s been in my family for years and I wouldn’t miss it for the world,” Auburn fan Chad Leston said.

University officials outlined the plans for the area during the final rolling commemoration.  An arching patch design was selected following numerous public workshops and online surveys. The park  will also feature two new oak trees. It will also feature additional seating. The project is expected to be finished in 2014.

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