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Draper City tree becomes 'Tree of Life' for residents

By Megan Marsden Christensen | Posted - Dec. 5, 2014 at 10:27 p.m.


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DRAPER — A spectacular tree donned with more than 1,000 strands of lights adorns Draper City Park during the holiday season.

Unlike a typical lit-up Christmas tree, this weeping willow replicates the Tree of Life, a symbol used in religions representing wisdom, protection and redemption.

Specifically, Draper residents are saying the lighted tree reminds them of the Tree of Life depicted in a painting based off a Book of Mormon story.

Luke Walker, who headed the project with the company Brite Nites, has been involved in the design and installation of the tree for the last three years.

“Draper City wanted the willow tree to be the centerpiece to bring people into the park and to give it the wow-factor,” Walker said. “Because of the similarities the tree has to the tree in the Book of Mormon story, people have started to coin it the 'Tree of Life.'”

Lighting the tree takes a crew of four or five men working all day for three and a half days, Walker said. At the end of the Christmas season, it takes two or three days to remove the lights.

“We added 1,100 strands of LED lights and 350 spark lights,” Walker said. “The spark lights turn off and on every three seconds, so it looks like it’s twinkling.”

Draper City held a tree-lighting ceremony Monday to kick off its holiday season.

Approximately 450 people came to see the willow tree light up, Walker said.

“I think the ceremony itself, when they switch all the lights on, is a massive deal for the city and an icon for the city,” Walker said. “It’s literally something you’ve never seen in your entire life before.”

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