A holiday tradition returns at the Doug Oberhelman Caterpillar Visitors Center.
A total of 4,000 holiday lights adorning a Caterpillar D6 track-type tractor were turned on during a lighting ceremony Tuesday.
Santa and Mrs. Claus were on hand the for the celebration while the Caterpillar Employees Mixed Chorus performed traditional holiday favorites.
This is the second year that CAT has surrounded one piece of its iconic equipment in holiday lights.
“We had over 7,000 people last year who came through in November and December to see the Caterpillar Visitors Center, Santa and celebrate with us.”
The task of turning on the lights for the holiday season belonged to CAT Vice-President Karl Weiss, who was a former vice-president of Caterpillar’s earthmoving divisions.
Weiss called it a humbling experience to push the button lighting the display. Weiss said the display also shines a light on the global impact of CAT equipment and employees.
“It’s really about the stories that each of these machines could tell about what the customers that owned them did to shape the world,” Weiss said.
Weiss said earlier this year he had responsibility for the product group that owns the D6. His current role with Caterpillar includes responsibility for the East Peoria production facility.
The lighted D6 will be on display through Dec. 30. Santa Claus will greet children and families at the Doug Oberhelman Caterpillar Visitors Center Nov. 24 after the annual Santa Claus Parade until 2 p.m.
The Caterpillar Employees Mixed Chorus is the oldest employee musical activity of its kind in the world. 2017 marks the 76th year for the mixed chorus.