AUSTIN, Texas -- The Zilker Holiday Tree was lit for the first time of the year Sunday, officially marking the beginning of Austin’s holiday season.
• First tree was lit in 1967
• Tree features 3,309 multicolored lights
The Zilker Tree Lighting ceremony featured performances from local musicians The Austin Civic Wind Ensemble, Barton Hills Choir, and modern big band The Vintage 15.
Food vendors and souvenirs were also available for people as they watched the tree lighting.
The light pattern on the tree was created by City of Austin electricians. The 155-foot holiday tree is built around the Zilker Moonlight Tower. It features 3,309 multicolored lights arranged on 39 streamer hung around the tree.
Those streamers connect at the top near a 10 foot double star lit by 150 frosted bulbs.
This year marks the 51st year Zilker Park has had a tree. The first tree was lit in 1967 by then Mayor Pro Tem Emma Long. Since then, the honor has been reserved for young winners of a city-wide tree art contest.