WORTH COUNTY, IOWA — As darkness settles over the northern Iowa countryside, a solitary tree comes alive with the glow of 80,000 Christmas lights. The result can be seen for miles and brings people with their cameras and phones in hand to capture the sight.
The tree has been lit up for years now. Workers from the nearby POET Biorefinery, an ethanol plant, donate their time to string up the lights as a way to show the community they are sharing in the holiday spirit.
It’s not uncommon for drivers to pull off and pose for selfies or just to share what they didn’t expect to see as they drove along Highway 9. In the short time I was there over a dozen people stopped.
At least one marriage proposal has taken place in the soft glow under the tree.
The tree has gained some social media notoriety in the last couple of years, which has increased the flow of visitors. Drone13 captured some unique perspectives of the tree as twilight faded to darkness.
The tree is a few miles west of I-35 on Iowa Highway 9, about 125 north of Des Moines.