Fun facts about the Lights Before Christmas

• The electrical spectacle known as the Dancing Lights and the 85-foot Norway Spruce are decorated with all wide-angle LED lights.
•The Lights Before Christmas began in 1986 with 50,000 lights and an attendance of 71,000 visitors; the record attendance for a Lights Before Christmas season was 2006, with 178,177 visitors.
• The Toledo Zoo began using energy-efficient LED lights in 2002. Today, over half our lights are LEDs.
• A core crew of 12-15 employees from the Zoo’s Grounds Department starts hanging lights during the first week of September each year.
• There are two techniques are used to hang lights: draping and wrapping. If all the lights were strung end-to-end, they would reach nearly 70 miles.
• Nearly 50,000 feet of extension cords are used—that’s almost 10 miles!
• The Zoo makes more than 2,700 pounds of fudge during the Lights Before Christmas, along with about 6,800 gallons of hot chocolate, more than 6,000 cinnamon pretzels, and 3,800+ gingerbread men.
• After the Lights Before Christmas, it takes about 2 months to take down all the lights, then sort and store them for the following year.
Big Tree stats:
- In 2011, Travelocity named the Big Tree one of the top holiday trees in the nation!
- The Big Tree is a Norway spruce located near the Broadway entrance by the Conservatory.
- It’s 65-70 years old and more than 85 feet tall.
- The lowest branches from tip-to-tip are 50’ in diameter.
- The trunk circumference is 8 feet 7 inches and it is estimated to weigh 7 tons.
- More than 35,000 energy-efficient LED lights cover the Big Tree (almost 3 miles of lights).
- It takes a crew approximately one week to decorate the entire tree.





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