WRAL-TV Now a Beacon of Holiday Spirit
2011 Tower Lighting
The WRAL-TV Tower comes to light on Thurs, Dec 1st, for the 2011 holiday season.
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WRAL lit the transmission tower outside the WRAL-TV Studios, at 2619 Western Blvd. in Raleigh, Dec. 1, 2011, in an annual holiday tradition that dates back more than half a century.
The annual event 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 the holiday season for many.
Although the forecast was cold and clear, snow fell in the WRAL parking lot, courtesy of Southern Snowman. The Cary company pumped a snow solution through a high-speed fan to shoot the flakes high into the air outside the TV station.
WRAL-TV’s Debra Morgan (left) & Greg Fishel get set to flip the switch to turn the tower lights on.
Musical guests the Capital Ambassadors provided the carols to set the stage before WRAL-TV Anchor Debra Morgan & WRAL-TV Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel threw the switch.
Before the tower is lit, a professional climber must test every bulb. Murray Adams was secured with belts and cables as he climbed to the top Monday for the annual preliminary. The lights stay on the tower year-round but are lighted only during the holiday season.
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.
Thanks to WRAL.com for this capcom story.