AUSTIN (KXAN) - It's that time of year again!
Austin Energy crews on Tuesday will hang 3,159 yellow, red, green and blue bulbs on 39 streamers from the top of Moonlight Tower in Zilker Park to form the annual holiday tree for the 45th consecutive year.
AE officials said the exact placement of the yellow bulbs on the streamers gives the tree its distinctive swirl pattern. The top of the tree is adorned with two stars containing 74 frosted lights each.
The 155-foot tall tree can be seen for miles as it signals the start of the holiday season when it is lit the first Sunday in December and stays lit until midnight every night until the end of the year.
The tree will be lit at 6 p.m. by the winner of a children's Zilker Tree coloring contest sponsored by the Austin Parks and Recreation Department.
Dating back to almost the invention of the light bulb, the citizens of Austin purchased the city's first urban lighting system in the form of the Moonlight Towers – and Austin Energy was born. Austin Energy celebrated its centennial in 1995 by refurbishing the 17 remaining Moonlight Towers – which cast a soft moonbeam effect – to preserve them for posterity.
The Moonlight Towers are listed in the National Register of Historic Places and are the only working lighting system of their type in the world.
Tuesday's installation starts at 9 a.m. with the streamers being laid out, bulbs checked and replaced, followed by the streamers going up from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg heads to court this week as a defendant in a civil trial that could oust her from office.
Late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, a light band of freezing drizzle traversed the I-35 corridor eastward. With sub-freezing temperatures, even the light precipitation created major problems.
A 10-year-old was killed while standing outside a vehicle after the child's family was involved in a fender bender, DPS said.
Austin Police confirm they have located an 82-year-old women who went missing last night.
APD is responding to a 25 vehicle accident near the 5400 block of Ed Bluestein near Thurgood Ave.
A man is dead after being hit by several vehicles in the eastbound lane of Highway 71 Saturday night.