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Zilker Holiday Tree installation set for Nov. 2

According to the Austin Parks and Recreation Department, this year's tree lighting ceremony will be held on Sunday, Nov. 27.

AUSTIN, Texas — Halloween has just wrapped up, but the City of Austin is thinking ahead and preparing for its annual holiday tree installation. 

In a recent update, Austin Energy stated that the Zilker Holiday Tree will be installed on Wednesday, Nov. 2. This announcement comes after the installation had to be postponed due to weather concerns on Oct. 25.

This week also marks the reopening of Zilker Park to the public following maintenance on the Great Lawn in the wake of the Austin City Limits Music Festival. The park is open to all as of Tuesday, Nov. 1.

On installation day, Austin Energy crews will string lights to transform the Zilker moonlight tower into the Zilker Holiday Tree in preparation for the upcoming holiday season.

The tree is decorated annually with 39 strings of LED bulbs, each containing 81 red, yellow, green and blue bulbs. The placement of the yellow bulbs on each string gives the tree its distinctive swirl pattern. A double star tops the display, measuring 10 feet from point to point. 

The moonlight tower in Zilker Park is one of the original 31 towers that provided Austin with its first urban lighting system back in 1895. Only 17 of Austin's original moonlight towers remain and serve as the only working moonlight towers in the world. 

According to the Austin Parks and Recreation Department website, this year's tree lighting ceremony will be held on Sunday, Nov. 27, on the south side of Zilker Park. Pre-event music starts at 5:30 p.m. and the ceremony itself will start at 6 p.m. It will feature local entertainment, food novelties, live music and a performance by the Austin Civic Wind Ensemble. 

Each year, area youth are invited to compete for the chance to light the holiday tree. Submissions are currently being accepted and are due by Nov. 1 at 4:30 p.m. Artwork may be submitted online or by mail to Austin Parks and Recreation Department, 200 S. Lamar Blvd., Austin, TX 78704. 

This will be the second year the Austin tradition returns after being closed in 2020 due to the COVID-19. pandemic. It will be the first time since the pandemic that a tree lighting ceremony will be held. 

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