Time for the yearly lighting of the Zilker Holiday Tree

It is the holiday season in Austin and that means it's time for the yearly lighting of the Zilker Holiday Tree.

This has been an annual holiday tradition since 1967.  James Russell is the Executive Director of the Trail of Lights, he helps with the tree lighting, he said "You get generations around here, you get grandparents and their grandkids out here."

The Zilker Tree is quite the display standing at 155 feet tall, it has 39 streamers, each with 81 multi-colored bulbs, equaling more than 3300 lights total. On top of the tree is a 10-foot star with 150 bulbs. "It's always nice to hear the grandparents talk about how much it's changed over the 50 years," Russell said.

The City of Austin Parks and Rec said the unique spiral pattern of lights is something electricians came up with  many years ago. Now, it's one of the most distinctive things about the tree.

Two elementary kids won first place in an art contest. They got the big honor of helping the mayor flip the switch.  "I just drew the Zilker Park Tree and the Trail of Lights," said 4th grader Joshua Kim, one of the contest winners. Pre-schooler Maple Walus was the other winner. "I made it out construction paper. I got stars, and I have my mom and dad and me on it and there are stars on the Christmas tree," she said of her art project.

The Zilker Tree lighting is just the beginning to the holiday festivities. Next week the Trail of Lights starts.  "They can expect two million lights across the street, 15 nights of different activities, a lot more interactive displays this year," said Russell.

The Zilker Tree will be lit up from 6 pm to midnight every night until the end of the year.


Zilker Holiday Tree lighting

Posted by RaeAnn Christensen On FOX 7 on Sunday, November 29, 2015


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