It’s Wednesday night, and I’m settling inside for the evening. I spent a good chunk of the day outside, pulling up lights for the mega tree. In off-and-on drizzling to pouring rain. Soaked to the bone. And nearly wiped out.
Nearly. But now I’m bouncing back.
As of this moment, all light strands hang from the mega tree and the base is in place. The lights have not been raised (need to save some strength for that), so we’ll do that tomorrow.
We keep the lights separated in sections, as they’ll be tied down in very specific locations around the tree. I despise criss-crossed strands on the light tree, as they make the tree look awkward when the lighting effects are applied. Meeting these requirements is no small task.
There are 192 strands of lights — 64 each of red, white, and green lights. The top of the mega tree is a custom device that has 16 hooks on it. I hang 4 strands of a single color, bunched together at the top of the tree, but loose at the bottom of the tree. Each hook gets a 4-strand bundle of each color — 16 hooks, 12 strands per hook.
The tree’s base is 40 feet in circumference. With 480 inches to work with, 192 strands work out to a 2.5 inch gap from strand to strand. From a working height of 17′, the optimal strand length to the base rim is a little over 18′.
Over a distance of 18 feet, two strands separate from the top at the rate of about one inch for every seven feet of length. To say that things are a bit snug on the tree is an understatement. Keeping the strands in line is very important for this mega tree.
So, I’m tired but I’m also excited. Getting the tree in place is always the most complex, time-consuming and flat-out exhausting part of the display. It’s also the best piece of the display, in my humble opinion. It’s worth it.
Tomorrow morning, up bright and early to raise the lights, tie them down, and plug them in. Then, turkey!
Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.