Keg Tree lighting: A Rochester tradition unlike any other


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The day has come: Genesee Brewery’s iconic Keg Tree will light up the night.

For the seventh year in a row, the brewery has constructed a holiday spectacle. From 50 spectators in its first year, to more than 6,000 in 2018, it’s truly become a local sensation, and staple.

“It’s great that they embraced it here. Never in a million years, we thought that would happen,” said Mike Gaesser, Genesee director of packaging innovation and unofficial Head Keg Tree Elf.

This year’s tree is about the same as last years — 530 empty half barrels kegs, stacked up 12 levels to 27 feet high, with some 25,000 lights upon it. It took about 400 man hours to complete the Keg Tree, and that hard work will pay off for Friday night’s event.

The Keg Tree lighting ceremony runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. with the lighting happening at 6:30 p.m. sharp. The event is free to attend and will feature food trucks, heaters, fire pits, plus the return of Genesee’s special Keg Tree Ale.

The brewery is partnering with the City of Rochester on a “Bring Christmas Downtown Coat Drive” and guests at the Keg Tree lighting event are encouraged to bring coats and gloves to benefit the less fortunate in our community.

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