Tree of lights kick off holidays

The Salvation Army and American National Bank welcomed the holidays by hosting the annual Tree of Lights Celebration on Nov. 7th. The 75-foot tall tree sparkles on 90th and Dodge street as reminder to the city of Omaha to give to people in need this holiday season.

A large crowd gathered at this the 10th year celebration of the event attendees enjoyed live holiday music, hot beverages, and free food. Two members of Radio City Music Hall Rockettes counted down the lighting of the tree and turned on the switch to kick of the holidays. Santa Claus and two live reindeer were also in attendance.

10-year- old Austin Morris, was enjoying the festivities with his parents and three younger siblings.

“I love all the snacks they give us,” he said. “But the lights on the tree are my favorite.”

The tree is bigger than New York City’s Rockefeller Center tree and is the largest illuminated object in the Midwest. The steel tree weighs 6,000 pounds, and carries 85,000 LED lights, 675 giant starburst which emanates rays that resemble flashes of lights, 200 twinkling strobe lights and animated star. 120,000 cars will pass the tree every day.

The Salvation Army’s goal is set to raise 2.8 million dollars in Omaha.

Mayor Jean Stothert told the crowd she will be among 1,000 needed volunteers in Omaha ringing bells this season and encouraged others to join.

“Every dollar raised in Omaha, stays in Omaha,” Stothert said.

The tree is bigger than New York City’s Rockefeller center tree and is the largest illuminated object in the

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