Help keep the tradition of Rudolph by returning him to his original holiday home

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Sasha Sutton
Sasha Sutton signed this petition

                I am starting this petition to give a voice to the community that are unhappy with Rudolph the Red Nosed Pumping Unit’s move from his original location at US 59 and Loop 287 to his current location in the parking lot of downtown Regions bank.  The lighting of Rudolph, at the mall parking lot, has been a tradition for over 40 years. It is a cherished kickoff to the holiday season and this year the holidays have felt incomplete because he is missing at his original home.  The intersection where he was located is a frequently traveled crossroads in our town and he brought a sense of the holiday spirit that was unique to our town. I travel that path 2-3 times a day and love the feeling of seeing Rudolph.  It gives our community a feeling of holiday and community pride knowing that Rudolph is one of a kind and he represents local innovation, success, and creativity.

                Rudolph was developed by a local Lufkin inventor and manufactured and sold all over the world by Lufkin Industries. It’s a reminder that we are from a small town, but we can achieve great things.  At first Rudolph was just a regular pumping unit painted red and decorated with Christmas lights by a man who worked in the factory. Each year he was sold and ended up somewhere in the world. Later, the tradition of Rudolph evolved and he found his home in the mall parking lot where he has been spreading the holiday spirit for over 40 years.

 I am a native of Lufkin and remember attending this event as a child, and as an adult I have taken my own children to the lighting.  Like many others, the holidays haven’t started until we see Rudolph as we run our countless errands during the busy holiday season.  This is the first year that unless you go down town we don’t get to appreciate our unique Christmas display.  I recently went downtown to do some Christmas shopping on First Street and then over to City Hall to pay a bill.  I never saw Rudolph and it was only after searching him out I caught a glimpse of him as I drove by.  When he was at his traditional location, the community was able to see him from both directions and enjoy their drive by watching him lit up and pumping away.  He was a bright spot on an otherwise cold December night. 

He is an icon that represents our community and should not be limited to the times that you make the effort to specifically seek out.  Imagine being a kid traveling during the holidays driving over the over pass and seeing Rudolph for the first time. He brings a child-like sense of joy to our entire community and beyond and should be returned so he can be appreciated.  Without his return to the mall parking lot our tradition and his symbol as an icon of Lufkin will dwindle because the future generations will not know who he is because they will not see him frequently enough. 

I know there have been changes with Lufkin Industries closing, and I don’t know what happened behind the scenes for Rudolph to be moved. Whatever happened, I ask that we solve the problem so he can be at his original location next year.  Downtown is great and I encourage everyone to shop at our fantastic shops and eat at our great restaurants, but I feel that moving Rudolph detracts from our ability as a community to enjoy him.  Please sign this petition to support the unique tradition of our town.