75-foot Tree of Lights not part of this year's Harbor Lights Festival

The committee is currently raising money for a new and improved tree, and it can be found on their website.

CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - A 36-year tradition of the Harbor Lights Festival is the annual tree lighting along the Bayfront, but now the lighting ceremony will be different with a change of the Christmas tree.

The Harbor Lights Festival transforms the Corpus Christi Bayfront into a Christmas Wonderland. This year the 75-foot tree of lights will not be put up due to safety concerns.

"The last few years, the garland and the lighting has started to fray. As the committee brought the tree out and examined it they realized it's not going to go up," said Elaine Molt, a volunteer on the Harbor Lights committee.

News of the tree no longer being part of the parade brought disappointment to viewers.

"I've taken my older kids. This is my granddaughter, and this will be her first year going, we thought, to see the big tree. Kind of disappointing knowing it won't be there," Bobbie Rocha said.

A lighting ceremony will still take place but with several smaller trees while the committee looks to find a replacement and new location for next year.

"Hopefully maybe something cooler," Molt said. "We are starting now for 2018. The Harbor Lights will be moving to the Waters Edge Park. We found a location where the tree can be put up and we're going to have a brand new tree and a brand new look. Hopefully, individuals and companies will donate to it and put up a brand new tree."

The committee is currently raising money for a new and improved tree, and it can be found on their website.

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