More Highlights for WRAL Tower Lighting
WRAL-TV’s tower became a beacon for the holidays as is annual tradition on Thursday, December 1, 2016. The first day of December always marks the WRAL Tower Lighting. WRAL-TV Anchors Debra Morgan & David Crabtree hosted the event alongside WRAL-TV
Today, December 1, we celebrate the annual WRAL tower lighting for Christmas. During the evening newscast, that giant metal structure behind the building will be transformed into a dazzling tower of power Christmas tree. Over the years, elements of entertainment
The annual tradition of “lighting the tower” on December 1, started in 1959. Over 3000 colorful lightbulbs attached to the tower are turned on near the end of the newscast. This 1982 video shows the moment the lights are turned on. SKY 5 circled the tower in spectacular fashion revealing how magnificent the lights look from the air. Flying SKY5 was pilot Mike Allen.
The annual lighting of the tower for Christmas happens on December 1. It is a special time of the year when WRAL spreads Christmas cheer by providing a visual Christmas greeting to the viewers by lighting the tower with more than 3,000 multi-color bulbs. The result is a spectacular Christmas tree. The tradition started in 1959.
This particular tower lighting on December 1, 1981 was extra special. For the first time, WRAL was able to give viewers a bird’s eye viewer LIVE via SKY 5 – WRAL’s news helicopter – during the ceremony. WRAL News anchor, Charlie Gaddy, shares his memory watching the magnificent images that SKY 5 provided that evening.
Flying SKY 5 was pilot Randy Watkins.
Christmas is a very special time of the year at WRAL. It is marked with the telecast of the annual tower lighting ceremony. The tradition started in 1959 with Capitol Broadcasting Company and WRAL founder A.J. Fletcher reading “A Christmas Carol” before the tower was lit. The lighting has grown to include musical performances and live aerial video from Sky 5.
This video was part of the broadcast in 1974.