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Santa’s ‘ho-ho-ho’ triggers lighting of Huntsville’s Rocket City Tree 

HUNTSVILLE – In a city that readily identifies with countdowns, another first-of-its-kind event was held Friday night at Big Spring Park as Rockin’ Around the Rocket City went full speed.

Downtown Huntsville Inc., and the Huntsville Museum of Art collaborated for the inaugural lighting of the Rocket City Tree, formerly named the Mayor’s Tree after Mayor Tommy Battle established the tradition. The 23-foot tall custom made tree was lit during a ceremony on the northwest corner of the museum between the annual tradition venues Skating in the Park and Tinsel Trail.

The tree has continuous and blinking white lights and a 3-D spaceship tree-topper provided by Teledyne. Though it’s not the first tree representing the city at Big Spring, it’s now emblematic of continuing growth and Huntsville DNA with the relaunch of its name.

“I think it’s very fitting that it becomes the Rocket City Tree,” Battle told the crowd.

With a countdown from the crowd and a “ho-ho-ho” led by Battle and a costumed Santa Claus, the tree came to electric life. The lights of all the park’s holiday trees and fencing are provided by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department and powered by Huntsville contractor Pro Electric.

In addition to the ongoing Skating in the Park, which yearly serves as the biggest fundraiser for the Huntsville Museum of Art, and the popular Tinsel Trail, the city is hosting Big Spring Jingle from 5-8 p.m. on Dec. 8.  There will be holiday-themed lighting, music, a dance floor and more for all ages. Skating in the Park in front of the museum and food trucks on Church Street have costs. All other activities are free.

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