Local News

Lucky Strike Tower to be centerpiece of Durham Holiday Lights

Posted November 26, 2007 3:02 p.m. EST
Updated November 18, 2008 12:45 p.m. EST

— Amid a snowfall, the brightest lights in town will shine next weekend from the 133-year-old Lucky Strike Tower on the American Tobacco Campus, organizers say.

The Big Light Switch will be thrown for the third annual lighting of the Lucky Strike Tower at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30. Artificial snow will fall from the sky as part of the choreographed pageantry.

Organizers from Light Up Durham said they aim to make the tower lighting a family tradition in Durham, just like the famous tree lightings in New York and Washington, D.C.

"“This is like no other seasonal display in town,” Paul Pope, vice president and general manager of American Tobacco Campus, said. “American Tobacco is a historic Durham landmark that deserves to be decorated and celebrated during the holidays, and we invite everyone to make this event a new family tradition.”

Thousands of feet of garland and lights and hundreds of poinsettias and seasonal planters will blanket the 250,000-square-foot campus. The event is free, and the first 500 people to arrive will receive holiday light sticks.

Highlights also include live performances by more than 200 students from Creekside Elementary children's choir, Carrington Middle School chorus and Northern High School chorus featuring KnightSound.

WRAL's news personality Ken Smith will be hosting, and Dr. Carl Harris, superintendent of Durham Public Schools, will make a special appearance.

The celebration continues into Saturday, with free performances by 50 groups and more than 2,000 youth in four venues in downtown Durham. The performances surround Durham's parade.

Click here for a full list of performances and a map of the venues.

The Lucky Strike Tower Lighting will benefit from the expertise gained in the lighting of the WRAL-TV tower on Western Boulevard in Raleigh. Capitol Broadcasting, Inc., parent company of WRAL and American Tobacco Campus, has been lighting the TV tower for over 50 years.

“We are fortunate to have the same landscaping and decorating team that makes the WRAL-TV gardens and campus so stunning every year, “ Pope said. "We’re proud to start our own holiday tradition here at American Tobacco for the citizens of Durham.”