Save the Zilker Tree, No Neon Ferris Wheel

The Zilker Tree is a cherished 50-year old tradition that should be preserved and nurtured. The tree has long been an easily accessible (even when the Trail of Lights is not), beautiful, quiet, organic (minimally programmed) site for people to enjoy the spiraling lights. The tree as had local school choirs sing at opening events, but for most of the trees installation each year it has been a quiet place, filled only with the sounds that visiting people make -- the oohs and awes and laughter of children and their families or friends as they look skyward to see the spiral of lights. On site vendors have been no more than what was needed to sell a hot chocolate or kettle corn or the like. Small groups of UT students visiting the tree often spontaneously sing a few Christmas carols. Even as Austin has become so incredibly congested, there was always ample on site parking just next to the tree, especially for those willing to go later after the crowds thinned. This year the City has installed a giant, 90-foot tall neon Ferris Wheel, complete with loud blaring carnival style music, right next to the beloved tree. Please sign this petition to Austin City Council to say that this Ferris Wheel and its attendant noise does not belong right next to the Zilker Tree.

Dear Mayor and Austin City Council Members:

We, the undersigned, are petitioning you to NOT return the neon Ferris Wheel to the Zilker Tree of lights in the future. It  is highly inappropriate in this location. It distracts from the tree and overwhelms the entire area with its loud carnival-style music. The Zilker Tree is a beautiful, time-honored tradtion that should be upheld and nurtured. The Trail of Lights has evolved and changed and has grown to include more light and sound programming overt the years, but the Zilker Tree always remained a beautiful, simple, relatively quiet place of holiday cheer or reflection, filled only with the sounds of human voices as they would carol or greet loved ones under the spiral of lights. A 90-foot neon Ferris Wheel which blares carnival music is not appropriate at this location. Please help the people of Austin Save the Zilker Tree.

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