SALT LAKE CITY — Temple Square's lighting, which draws huge crowds each Christmas

season, is pretty much the same as last year, with one exception.The square's famed cedar of Lebanon tree is being lighted again this

year. This tree is on an every-other-year lighting schedule to preserve

its health. Brought to Temple Square as a seedling, the tree was

planted near the east gate. Seventy-five years later, it stands at 70

feet, making it one of the largest trees on Temple Square.It is also one of the first trees on the square to use LED lights,

creating a "blinking, shimmering effect" as visitors walk past it.Within the next three to five years, all of the trees and greenery on

Temple Square will be lit with energy-conserving LEDs.

Lights are turned off nightly at 10 p.m. on Temple Square and at

10:30 p.m. on the downtown Salt Lake areas surrounding the square. The light display there

ends on New Year's Eve.Downtown Salt Lake is ablaze with more than a million holiday

lights, and blue is clearly the dominant color this year. Besides the

oodles of lights on Temple Square, there are more than 19 miles of new

electric "Jazz" blue LED (light emitting diode) light strands along

city streets, from The Gateway to Temple Square to Gallivan Plaza.

"We're jazzin' up downtown for the holidays," Jason Mathis,

executive director of the Downtown Alliance of Salt Lake, said to a

crowd of about 400 people just before the holiday lights went on at

dusk for the first time this season."Partnering with the Utah Jazz for the Jazzin' up the holidays

theme, the blue LED lights honor Salt Lake City's NBA team," he said."I'm certainly enjoying the festive atmosphere here," said James Mast of Lancaster, Pa., who is visiting family in Salt Lake.This being his first time in town, he said he had nothing with which to compare this year's lighting display.The Grand America Hotel also held its first "A Grand Holiday

Festival" Friday night. Many free events and decorations entertained

visitors.Besides all the downtown lights, there's a new holiday attraction

downtown, too — despite all the construction under way at its core —

new holiday windows.The new 222 Main high-rise building has three classic holiday

windows illuminated, reminiscent of the classic ZCMI displays of years


The new LED lights installed in downtown Salt Lake City will consume

only 5 percent the electricity of traditional lights and will save

taxpayers thousand of dollars in electric bills.

TRAX is the best way to come downtown to see the lights. Also, avoid parking in residential areas north of Temple Square.

For more information on downtown lighting displays, go to: