Crews Prepare World's Oldest Living Christmas Tree for Holidays

Published: Nov. 28, 2006 at 2:13 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 28, 2006 at 3:23 PM EST
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WILMINGTON - While families around Southeastern North Carolina are decorating their homes for the holidays, city crews are also getting holiday lights together, in preparation for the annual oak tree lighting later this week.

The oak tree overlooking the Cape Fear River has been Wilmington's symbol of the holiday season since 1928. This year, colored lights will cascade from a star on top of the tree.

Officials had their hands full Monday trying to untangle and sort all the Christmas lights.

"We have to use the larger bulbs so we can have the color so it will show up. If they were small, it would not show up on a tree this size. There's approximately 72 stringers that go on the tree. We figure there are probably 4,000 lights once we get them all working," said Barry Yow, supervisor of the project.

Workers say they have already replaced nearly 400 bulbs.

The tree will be lit Friday at 6 p.m., and if you can't make it out, you can watch the lighting live on WECT.

Staff Report