Spectacular lighted trees bring holiday joy in Johnson City


We tooled into Johnson City at dusk after a day spent in charming Fredericksburg, in the Hill Country west of Austin. After dinner at a local brew pub, we stopped by the electric company, just a block off the main road, to view the lighted trees that surround the headquarters.


More than a million lights strung on trunks, branches, and twigs transform a grove of live oaks into an enchanted forest. Located at the Pedernales Electric Coop’s headquarters on Avenue F, just off Highway 290, the display is part of Johnson City’s annual Lights Spectacular.


I love Austin’s Zilker Christmas Tree and the Trail of Lights. But if you want to enjoy a fantastic light display sans crowds, make the 1-hour drive west to Johnson City, park your car conveniently on the street, and walk 25 feet to gaze up at these beautifully adorned trees. My only complaint is that a hot-chocolate vendor has set up a mobile cafe at the street corner powered by a generator thrumming like a dozen lawn mowers. The racket significantly diminished our enjoyment of the display, and I’d urge city leaders to keep generators at least a block away from the trees in the future.


Last year when we visited Lights Spectacular, all the lights were white. This year, a few blue trees stood out amid the white ones.


They were truly beautiful.


Live oaks retain their glossy leaves through the winter, and the leafy canopies glowed with reflected light, somewhat resembling a nebula cloud in space.


How I wished someone would cut the cord on that generator so we could enjoy a silent night under the glowing trees…


…or a blue Christmas.


Go see it with your family. It’ll make you feel all warm inside.


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all! See you in 2014!

All material © 2006-2013 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

28 Responses

  1. Alison says:

    Such beautiful pictures of the trees outlined in lights! Someone very talented decorated them, I think. Thanks for sharing them with us. What a bummer about the generator.

  2. Now that’s beautiful! Thankfully the only background noise I had while enjoying the trees was Dean Martin signing “Winter Wonderland”…Merry Christmas Pam, enjoy your blog break.

  3. peter schaar says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy new Year, Pam. And thanks for posting these excellent photos of a spectacular light display!

  4. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Absolutely Beautiful. I mean you ladies. I can tell you are related. ;) Merry Christmas….

  5. LostRoses says:

    That is quite the light show, Pam, how fun to enjoy it with family. Merry Christmas!

  6. David says:

    Hi Pam,
    Thanks for sharing these beautiful trees and for another fantastic year of garden blogging. I may not always get the time to comment, but I love dropping in to see what you are up to. You are such an inspiration to me because you put the photos and the writing together in wonderful ways. And I love your new book…I now own a copy as of this year.
    P.S. I almost met you in November at your talk at Antique Rose Emporium. Sadly, I could not make the event due to my wife contracting pneumonia that weekend. Ugh! She’s better now.
    Maybe we’ll meet in 2014. Hopefully yours,
    David/Tropical Texana/ Houston :0)
    Merry Christmas, Ya’ll!

    • Pam/Digging says:

      I wish I’d been able to meet you at the ARE event, David, but I hope we’ll have a chance to meet in 2014. I’m cooking up an idea for a Texas blogger meet-up. Merry Xmas! —Pam

  7. Cayla says:

    How do they DO that?!? How do they get them wrapped so closely way up in there? One day I want to learn this trick and apply it to my scrawny pecan trees. Not to the same effect I’m sure, but I want to try! There must be a formula for how many strands of lights you’ll need, how to get them on there so well, and how many hours of cherry picker rental it takes… ;) Thanks for this!

  8. So grateful for all of your beautiful, informational, and inspiring posts this past year. I look forward to seeing the coming year through your eyes (and camera lens.)

  9. Joanne says:

    . Suffering from a mild case of holiday blues……and these photos made me smile. Merry Christmas

  10. Kris P says:

    Absolutely spectacular! Merry Christmas, Pam!

  11. Perfectly done lighting, especially with all those oaks :-) Wish I could have gone…so thanks for enduring that generator! Each time I drive through Johnson City, or especially Stonewall, I say, “I could live here”. That lighting would be the icing on the cake…

    (I remember you showing nice lighting last year, but in Fredericksburg?)

    • Pam/Digging says:

      Last year’s Xmas light posts were from Johnson City and from Austin’s own Trail of Lights, David. You’ll find the links in this post if you’d like more holiday brightness. Cheers! —Pam

  12. Lea says:

    Absolutely fantastic!
    Merry Christmas!
    Lea

  13. Beautiful! We drove through there last year. They do put on a great show.
    Hope your Christmas was wonderful.
    Happy New Year!

Leave a Reply