Sea World dims holiday tower lights

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Sea World's annual ''Holiday Tree of Lights,'' a 320-foot-tall icon for the past three decades, is the latest victim of the state's power crisis.

The amusement park announced Wednesday it would not turn on the strands of lights hanging from its Sky Tower due to the state's declaration of Stage One and Stage Two power emergencies earlier in the day.

Park officials would evaluate the decision on a day-to-day basis for the remainder of the season, spokesman Bob Tucker said.

''Sea World believes that because this is a focal point and a landmark in San Diego, this sends the right message to the community to be extra energy-conscious this season,'' Tucker said.

The park began illuminating the tower's strands for the 2000 holiday season on Nov. 28, turning on 2,040 25-watt bulbs which hang down in the shape of a Christmas tree.

It had already reduced illumination time by 25 percent this year by turning on the lights only from 5 p.m. to midnight.

The tower has been a San Diego landmark since 1969. The energy crisis of 1974 also led the park to keep off the holiday lights that year.

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