This year LUFKIN Industries celebrates its 55th consecutive year of decorating Rudolph the Red-Nosed Pumping Unit! This fine tradition began in 1966 with our employees carefully tossing a few Christmas lights on a pumping unit onsite at our LUFKIN Industries facility in Lufkin, TX.
Gradually, as the years went by, things got more elaborate, and by 2021, it now takes 4 to 5 days to install more than 4,000 lights on our fully functional Mark 640 pumping unit. Fully extended, the pumping unit stands 45 feet tall, making an impressive statement with lights. The 38-foot dump trailer installed behind Rudolph becomes Santa’s sleigh. The whole contraption takes 3 days to move and get erected Downtown, and another 3 days to disassemble and store for next Holiday season. Our thanks to the staff at the Kilgore Service Center, who performs all the assembly and disassembly of Rudolph.
Most important is our partnership with the City of Lufkin, which has created the annual “Christmas in the Pines” holiday festival around the lighting of Rudolph, which took place December 4, 2021. This festival has also grown with the years, and includes local craft, gift, and clothing vendors for multiple shopping opportunities, local food vendors, and local live performances.
Much of the focus this year was on engaging and involving the City’s youth. A brief ceremony before the lighting included our local Boy Scout Troop, who recited the “Pledge of Allegiance.” An art contest for the City’s junior and senior divisions was held prior to the festival, and the first-place winners, Ava Larson (junior) and Jada Credit (senior) were honored by riding in the Grand Marshal float in the Christmas parade on Monday, December 6th. Children were also given the opportunity to get their photo taken with Santa (at no charge to the parents), as well as free milk and cookies donated by Brookshire Brothers store. LUFKIN Industries distributed foam deer antlers to the kids.
The ceremony was hosted by Phillip Jones, our Sr Plant Staff Manager and welcome comments by Jeff Hykin, Managing Director, Portfolio Operations, of KPS Capital Partners and Andy Cordova, President & SM, Surface, LUFKIN Industries. The 2021 honor of lighting the Rudolph was bestowed on Dr Marshal Watson who grew up in Lufkin. Dr. Marshall C. Watson is the Roy Butler Chair and Chair of the Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering, and has been a professor at Texas Tech serving on the petroleum engineering faculty since 2006.
We look forward to this event every year and appreciate the good-will it creates between our company and our community.
LUFKIN’s leadership team is proud of and grateful to Phillip Jones (Sr Plant Staff Manager), Payton Pate (Operations Manager), and Susan Felts (Lead Logistics Specialist) for their continued dedication and support to the event and our community.