Downtown tree to light up Albany

Photo by Casey Dixon

Photo by Casey Dixon

ALBANY -- The unofficial start of downtown holiday festivities has begun as members of the Albany Water, Gas & Light Commission erected the city's official Christmas tree Monday on the steps of the Dougherty County Courthouse.

The 25-foot Leyland cypress was donated by Glenn and Dot Dowling of Leary and was harvested Monday morning before being hoisted into place in front of the courthouse in front of curious onlookers.

According to WG&L officials, the tree will ultimately hold 10,000 lights and will serve as the centerpiece of the downtown holiday celebration, along with the 5-story-tall Christmas light display on the Washington Street side of WG&L's downtown headquarters.

The tree fits into a special pipe, is secured in place by several guide wires and had to be lowered into place by a WG&L bucket truck fitted with a large hook and rope.

In addition to the Christmas tree, city and county employees also adorned several other trees near the entrance to the courthouse with lights.