Mark the holidays with the 50th anniversary of the Zilker Tree lighting

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The holidays are officially here and one of Austin’s most iconic holiday displays will once again usher in the season.

Organizers will kick off the 50th lighting of the Zilker Holiday Tree at 6:00 p.m. Sunday, with the winner of the 2016 Zilker Holiday Tree drawing contest turning on the lights.

The tree lighting ceremony will also feature local entertainment, food and live music.

The event marks the 50th year that Austin Energy crews have transformed Zilker Park’s moonlight tower into the Zilker Holiday Tree.

The tree was first lit on December 10, 1967. It stands 155 feet tall and contains 3,309 lights. Its unique spiral pattern is created by strategically placing yellow bulbs around the tree.

The Zilker Holiday Tree will be on display each night from 6:00 p.m. to midnight until the end of the year. The Trail of Lights will open December 10 and run through December 23. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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