Posted on November 1, 2011 at 6:23 PM
Tuesday, Nov 1 at 6:42 PM
AUSTIN -- It's a sure sign that the holidays are almost here. On Tuesday, city workers put together an Austin favorite -- the Zilker Park Christmas tree.
“It has really become an Austin icon,” said Carlos Cordova with Austin Energy, which sponsors the tree. “It’s a symbol of Austin."
Each of the 3,159 brightly colored bulbs that make the tree light up are an important piece of the puzzle, but it's the yellow ones that make the tree a towering tradition.
“It's the placement of the yellow bulb in the strategic right place, is what gives the tree its distinctive swirl,” Cordova said. “Everybody knows about the distinctive swirl that it makes, and everybody loves spinning under the tree and getting dizzy.”
It takes about two dozen Austin Energy linemen on the ground, and far above, to make this tree happen. Austin Energy workers spent hours more than 135 feet in the air hanging up the lights.
The Zilker Tree tradition shows no signs of slowing down. It's been going strong since 1967.
“What I like most about the tree is how little it has changed over the 45 years," Cordova said. "To me, it was one of those projects done right the first time. The Zilker Tree has always been the same and has always been popular and bought joy and amazement to everybody. It just works.”
For years, Kay McCartan has taken her grand-kids to spin under the tree, and she says she can't wait to let them experience the magic again this year.
“It always is a symbol that Christmas is coming in Austin,” she said. “It's big. It's so bright, and it's, I don't know, to me maybe it is Austin.”
The Zilker Park Christmas Tree will officially light up Dec. 4. The public is invited to watch.