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Celebrating the 69th anniversary of the KING 5 tower lights

A behind-the-scenes look on the beloved Seattle tradition. #k5evening

SEATTLE — The holiday season is here and for many Seattleites, one of the indications of that are the lights on the KING 5 tower. 

Evening spoke to Joe Harrington, the president of Harrington Aerial, and Tim Schall, KING 5 maintenance engineer, to get an exclusive peek at what goes on in order to make the tower light up, 

"Far back in the midst of time, somebody said, 'You know, if we put lights on that it'd look like a Christmas tree," Harrington said. 

As a result, a tradition was born. Construction was completed on the tower in the fall of 1953 and it was first lit during Christmas of that year.

"It's such an amazing honor to be a part of a long standing Seattle tradition," Schall said. "I remember sitting down when I was five or six years old watching KING 5 when they did this."

The tower has four strings that go down each leg and another one that goes straight up the middle. But the lights wouldn't be possible without the workers who brave the climb up the tower. 

"People that like to do this kind of work like to do stuff like swing from 350 foot tall structures and get to go into strange and exciting places," Harrington said. "But in this case what they get to do is kind of like an amusement park ride. It's like a ski lift only you get to pretend you're Tarzan."

"We just want to hang our lights and pretty up the holidays for people," Schall said.

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