Thousands show up for annual lighting of the Zilker Holiday Tree

It’s the official kick off to the Christmas season for Austinites, with the lighting of the Zilker Holiday Tree. 4th grader Vivian Prather was chosen to flip the switch to turn on the lights. “I was judged out of a possible 200 people and I got first.” Each year elementary students compete in an art contest. “I was actually in this contest almost all of the years in my grade level that I could” Vivian finally got that first place spot after she made note in her art this is a special year for the Zilker Holiday Tree. “I depicted an old couple going there for their 50th anniversary because it is the 50th anniversary of the tree here,” she said. Nicole Truelock is Vivian’s mother, “We are proud of her regardless, but this is super special thing for her and being a native Austinite, it’s a wonderful thing to get to take part of. Especially for the 50th year to win 1st place, we are really really proud and excited,” she said.

Standing 155-feet with 39 streamers, each holding 81 multi-colored light bulbs, the Zilker Holiday Tree totals a whopping 3309 lights. Topping it off is a double 10-foot star with 150 frosted bulbs, this year with a nifty 50. This years tree is brighter than ever as it’s the first time it’s being lit with LED lights.
Decades ago, some City of Austin electricians came up with the unique spiral pattern. Decades later, there's that dizzy tradition with the Zilker Holiday Tree from that design as you will see many under the tree spinning until they become dizzy.

You can now capture that perfect photo op moment forever as Google Fiber will be on hand to take your picture for you. Derek Bennett is with Google Fiber, “You've seen the sights of moms and dads in the mud trying to get that perfect holiday picture, trying to jockey the kids around, this year Google Fiber is going to take care of that for you,” he said. Google Fiber will be available for pictures, December 10th through 23rd, from 6pm-10pm.

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