Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Dr. Jack Kammer's Annual University Avenue Tree Lights Display

Rainbow of Holiday Lights Along Railroad Right of Way
One individual really can make a difference. In 1986, Madison dentist and UW-Madison alum Jack Kammer planted 228 arborvitae trees next to the railroad right of way along the 2700 block of University Avenue. It took awhile for the trees to grow up, but in 1995 the fun began. His website states:
In addition to his professional accolades, Dr. Jack is no stranger to his community. His annual University Avenue Tree Lights display has become a local tradition since 1995. Every late November for a decade, Dr. Jack dons his 'Santa' cap for Madison by stringing over 120,000 holiday lights on a beautiful row of 228 arborvitae trees three and a third football fields long which run parallel to University Avenue. Dr. Jack planted the trees eighteen years ago, and continues to maintain them to an identical height of 6-7 feet for his impressive display each winter.
The lights are a magical part of the holiday season in Madison, and I'm sure I'm not the only Madisonian who alters his driving route this time of year to pass them regularly. A few years ago he started phasing in energy efficient LED lights, and since last year, they've all been LED lights. Some of the expensive, hard-to-find colors regularly got swiped. That might have discouraged a lesser man, but not this dedicated fan of winter lights. Thank you, Dr. Jack!


em said...

This is my all time favorite part of Christmas in Madison. :)

Nonanon said...

I love the trees! But I must admit they're only my SECOND favorite holiday show--have you seen the lambs on Tokay Blvd? Cruise Tokay between Midvale and Segoe and you'll see a house with a nativity set with approximately 20 extra lambs. It is THE BEST. Thanks for the beautiful pictures of the trees, I've got to get out and see them!

Madison Guy said...

Nonanon, I can't agree more. I was just gettng ready to post this year's photo of the worshipful illuminated sheep when I read your comment. Every year I try to capture them with my camera. Something always seems to elude me, but I keep trying.

Anonymous said...

On Sat.night, my boyfriend,I and 3 dogs drove from the SE side of Milwaukee to see the lights. Very impressive. We took a lot of pictures. I appreciate all the hard work gone into making a great display, as I do not put any decorations. We even got a friendly hello from the local policeman.

LC said...

My son is home (North Carolina) for the holidays and I asked if UW put up any Christmas decorations. He told me "this wonderful row of trees that are all lit up" though he was puzzled as to who was responsible for it. He followed up and found your post - thanks for answering the mystery and to Dr. Kammer for the magic I hope to see one day.