An 85-foot Norway spruce that is a focal point of the Toledo Zoo’s annual Lights Before Christmas display has been chosen by an architecture and design Web site for a list of the nation’s Top 10 Christmas trees.
The tree earned the No. 8 spot on the decoist.com list of “most amazing Christmas trees in the U.S.” The Rockefeller Center tree in New York placed first, and the runner-up was the National Christmas Tree in Washington.
“Who would have thought that one of the most amazing trees in the United States would be found in a zoo?” the Web site says. “That’s right — the Christmas tree at the Toledo Zoo is a holiday sight like no other! We love the whimsical look of this Christmas gem, especially the way the lights drape in weblike designs.”
Zoo spokesman Andi Norman said the zoo was excited to receive the national recognition.
“The Lights before Christmas is an annual tradition for thousands of families, not only from this area but from the region. The tree is a big part of that tradition,” she said.
“Some people think they need to travel a great distance to see something spectacular and they have it in their own backyard at the Toledo Zoo.”
The tree is decorated with 35,000 energy-efficient light-emitting diodes.
At its lowest branches, the tree is 50 feet in diameter.
Rounding out the decoist.com list are the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree in Washington, Coeur d’Alene Resort Tree in Idaho, Delray Beach, Fla., Christmas Tree, Dallas Galleria Christmas Tree in Texas, Faneuil Hall Tree in Boston, Chicago’s Daley Plaza Christmas Tree, and Circle of Lights Tree in Indianapolis.
Last year, the Toledo Zoo tree was chosen by the travel Web site Travelocity.com for its list of its Five Favorite Christmas Trees.
The Lights Before Christmas, which features more than 1 million lights and more than 200 light animal images, began in 1986 with 50,000 lights and attendance of 71,000 visitors.
The record attendance for the event is 178,177, set in 2006.
The display will be open until New Year’s Eve from 3 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday, and 3 to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.