Image of Austin


So, you didn’t feel like doing the tree this year.

Well, if you find yourself driving along Capital Highway 360 of Texas in Austin, between Interstate 35 and Research Boulevard 183 and you have your Christmas decorations in tow, you can pick a public tree, and decorate it to your liking.

From what I can learn, this has been a north Austin tradition for approximately ten years. Beginning the day after Thanksgiving, entire families and other groups arrive at various sections along Capital Highway 360, carrying their bags of decorations and setting up their ladders. What results is a Christmas spectacle that rivals the traditional lighted Christmas house, villages, and drives. Best of all, the entire experience is free (except for the cost of your decorations.)

What I like most about the spectacle is the variety of decorations, colors, themes.

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I wondered if there was some license or permission required to participate. Like, can I just walk up to any tree of my choosing and decorate it any way I want to? Or are there rules to who gets what tree, maybe forms that need to be filled out, money that needs to exchange hands at some point? Then, who is responsible for cleaning up after Christmas? I sure hope every group who came out and decorated also comes out and removes. If the local government has to do it, that will most surely result in a paid event in coming years.

In either case, it seems to be a fabulous family event and, possibly a new tradition for next year.

© 2010-2012 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior approval from Kimberly Yoss


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