Hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights on at Temple Square and throughout downtown, a seasonal tradition that brings visitors from every corner of the world.
Volunteers and official groundskeepers began stringing the colorful lights in August and those lights are expected to beam brightly every evening, from dusk to 10 p.m., until New Year's Day, and then the dismantling will begin. It usually takes until March to put it all away.
Christmas lights first were put up around Temple Square, at the direction of LDS Church President David O. McKay.
Nearly 15,000 people gathered on Thursday, Dec. 9, 1965 at 7:45 p.m. to see 40,000 Christmas lights turned on for the first "Lighting of Temple Square." President McKay did the honors: "Our minds tonight should be on the Babe of Bethlehem whose coming into the world Christmas morning reminds us all that we each should have in our hearts the love of Christ."
"A mighty 'aah' of appreciation went up from the crowd as all the lights went on, followed by a burst of applause."
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem," "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" and "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day." Then the crowd joined them in singing "Oh Come All Ye Faithful." The ceremony ended with the choir singing "Silent Night."
It was a night like many other nights during Christmas seasons to follow. Forty-five years later, crowds still flock to see lights downtown and to hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing of a silent night.
Not enough pictures of the lights :/ but they really are amazing!
and BUNDLE up, it's freezing!!
I love going with Jordan because he is SO appreciative of all the hard work that gets put into stringing lights...
"Do you know how LONG that ONE tree probably took?? Look they got every single branch all the way to the tippy top!" :)