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Madison Snaps: December 21, 2007
The Christmas Lights on University Avenue
The Christmas Lights on University Avenue
Credit:Cathy Peterson

Today's image is titled The Christmas Lights on University Avenue and was photographed by Cathy Peterson.

This photo offers a passing glance at what has become one of Madison's holiday institutions over the last decade. This is a gem-toned spectrum of Christmas lights glistening upon a long row of trees marching along the 2700 block of University Avenue on the near west side. These were planted in 1986 by Dr. Jack Krammer, a UW graduate and longtime Madison dentist who has practiced in the city for nearly 55 years.

As described in Kammer's official bio:

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.

There have been changes to the display over the years in addition to the array of colors. In 2001, Kammer added an American flag and "U.S.A." sign to the display, while in 2004 he started phasing in the use of energy efficient LED lights to cut down on electricity bills and the labor costs involved with replacing burned-out bulbs. These run upwards of $6,000 per year, with donations from the public helping to support their annual return. By last year, the display exclusively featured LED lights.

"A photo cannot do justice to the beautiful sight of all those trees with their beautiful lights!" declares Peterson in the caption to this photo taken last year. The display is typically left up through the end of January every year, so there is still plenty of time to steal looks at the lights this holiday season.

This is the latest entry of Madison Snaps: photos of Madison-area events and locations. The Isthmus group photo pool is the primary source for Madison Snaps, which are published here with the permission of individual contributors. If you are interested in having your photo eligible for Madison Snaps, please respond to the posting on the Flickr group page, or send a message. There is no compensation for Madison Snaps photos, which are © to the respective photographers.

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