WRAL tower to set Raleigh aglow for 54th year
WRAL lit the transmission tower outside the WRAL-TV Studios, at 2619 Western Blvd. in Raleigh, at 6:15 p.m. on Dec. 2 in an annual holiday tradition that dates back more than half a century.
The lighting transforms the station's tower into a 300-foot Christmas tree wrapped in more than 2,800 multi-colored lights. Three 5-foot stars adorn the top of the tower, which will glow nightly through New Year’s Day. The tower is a beacon of the holiday season for many.
This year, the Methodist University Chorale joined the fun with festive music and WRAL anchor David Crabtree read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" to a group of children.
Before the tower is lit, a professional climber must test every bulb. The lights stay on the tower year-round but are lighted only during the holiday season.
A tradition 50 years in the making
It all began in 1959, with Capitol Broadcasting Co. founder A.J. Fletcher reading "A Christmas Carol" to viewers before the tower was lit.
Over time, the original tradition was embellished with new ones, including musical performances, aerial video from Sky 5 and streaming video to the Web and mobile phones.
Celebrations from seasons past
- Images of 2012 tower lighting
- Images of 2011 tower lighting
- Images of 2010 tower lighting
- Images of 2009 tower lighting
- Images of 2008 tower lighting
- Images of 2006 tower lighting
Durham to light Lucky Strike Tower
In downtown Durham, the American Tobacco Historic District will ring in the holiday season with the 9th annual lighting of the Lucky Strike Tower on Dec. 6.
Diamond View Park outside the Durham Performing Arts Center will also be lined with decorated Christmas trees from competitors in the third annual Triangle Christmas Tree Challenge. Each tree represents an area non-profit organization. Visitors can vote for their favorite via text message. Winners earn donations of $1,000 to $5,000.