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Media Release

Published: 11/18/2010
CONTACT(s):
Jill Winburn 505-239-9830 or Chad Henderson 505-350-4322 Old Town Holiday Stroll Committee holiday_stroll@albuquerqueoldtown.com

The History of the Biggest Christmas Tree in Albuquerque

Since 1994 Plaza Don Luis in Old Town, Albuquerque has been hosting the cities biggest Christmas Tree. It stands 55 feet tall and is composed of 130 fresh cut trees shipped in from northern New Mexico.

Tree assembly is Saturday, November 20 and Sunday, November 21
To assemble the tree it takes as many as twenty-five volunteers and a towering crane two days to complete the task. The framework of the tree is made out of eight-inch steel pipe with one hundred-thirty, three-inch by two-foot short pipes, welded to the main frame. Each tree trunk is hand trimmed to fit into the pipes. Once the tree is assembled the tedious process of placing the lights begins, thirteen thousand to be exact. And finally, trimming the tree with giant snowflakes and red ribbons completes its holiday dress.
 
The annual Christmas Tree lighting is always the first Friday of December during Holiday Stroll. It is one of the largest Christmas Events in Albuquerque and a favorite family tradition every year, Albuquerqueans and New Mexicans alike gather around the tree for a festive celebration and pre-lighting ceremony. This year Mayor Richard J. Barry and Steve Stucker will be there to host the event, along with the Manzano Day School Choir.
 
The tree was first erected 29 years ago for the George Maloof Family bank, First National. It was displayed at the First Galleria Downtown. When the bank took new ownership the tree was passed on to the Old Town Optimist Club and in 1994 the Optimist Club began to decorate the tree for Plaza Don Luis. The fee they charged to decorate the tree would go towards a Charity Christmas Party for Children. Many years later the tree was purchased by Plaza Don Luis. They have continued the tradition of donating to a worthy cause and each year they donate money to the Barrett Foundation and this year they will be adding San Felipe de Neri Church to their donation list.

Come and watch Albuquerque’s Biggest Christmas Tree come to life. It is sure to be an experience you will never forget.
 
This years Holiday Stroll event is Friday, December 3, 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. For more information please visit www.albuquerqueoldtown.com.
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