CITY OF KATY (Covering Katy News) – An illuminated Christmas tree is once again beaming on top of the American Rice Growers rice drier on First Street. It was turned on as a large crowd gathered to count down the light switch being turned on shortly after dusk Saturday night.

It was the second annual lighting of the tree hosted by MKT Distillery which is located in the American Rice Growers Drier.

It's not the first time a Christmas tree has glowed from atop a Katy Rice drier. It was once a tradition when the dryers were operational but it stopped in 1999, until MKT brought the tradition back in 2018.

"When we started the process of creating MKT Distillery, we knew that we would love to reinstate the tradition of the Christmas tree on top of the driers," said Nick Jessett, CEO and Partner.

Bill and Patti Lacy

Bill Lacy used the tree lighting event to also celebrate his wife Patti's birthday. It was a surprise that she did not expect.

Mayor Bill Hastings spoke Saturday night, shortly before the light switch was turned on.

“It’s wonderful to see it back in town, Hastings said. “I’ve lived here for 50 years and that was always part of Christmas to see the lights on the drier. It was a disappointment when the dryers shut down and everybody quit doing that. It’s wonderful to see it back. It means a lot to the citizens of Katy. It means a whole lot to me,” Hastings said.

Hastings also told the audience how much it meant to his grown children when they saw the tree shining above Katy last year.

“Last year my kids drove into town,” Hastings told those gathered for the lighting. “It was the first thing they said when they got out of the car. Dad! Dad! Did you know the Christmas tree back on the driers?”

Jessett said he was speechless when he heard the Mayor recall his children’s reaction.

“I knew that it had a lot of meaning, but to hear that people who have lived in Katy for years and grown up in Katy say that it meant so much to them is truly humbling and I can’t say how much it meant to be able to do that for them,” Jessett said.

The MKT Distillery is located at 5373 1st St, Katy, TX 77493, near the No Label Brewery.

See video below and photos above.

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