Loop 360 trees mysteriously decorated


by ANDREW CHUNG / KVUE News and photojournalist DAVID GARDNER

Bio | Email | Follow: @AndrewC_KVUE


Posted on December 7, 2012 at 6:33 PM

AUSTIN -- From a snowflake, to some ribbons, and even Bevo, Christmas decorations adorn trees along Loop 360 in Northwest Austin, making drivers do a double-take. It’s become a yearly tradition.

What's puzzling is who is decorating the trees. 

Gregory Cratch has been selling Christmas trees on Loop 360 for 18 years. "It is mysterious, and a lot of the decorating goes on very late at night, after midnight. When we're getting ready to go to bed, you'll see or you'll hear random voices walking around,” he said.

Despite the mystery, Cratch loves seeing the decorated trees. "I think it's wonderful. It really sort of gets the whole spirit of Christmas in the way it should be," he said.

Joanie Capalupo grew up in Austin and sees more and more decorated trees each year. "I've lived here since 1983, so, you know, it's been a change to watch this happen on 360, and it is intriguing," she said. 

Some of these trees are not easily accessible, which adds to the mystery. That impresses Austin resident Ed Healy. "It is amazing how creative a lot of these people are in terms of decorating - from little kids, to the adventurous, way up high," he said.

It's easy to speculate who might be decorating these trees. "Santa and his elves here in Austin, getting warm for the cold winter elsewhere," said Capalupo. 

"The gremlins are out. The Christmas gremlins,” said Cratch.

The mystery will linger, at least for the next few weeks.