Rudolph the Red-Nosed Pumping Unit is a Lufkin Christmas ritual steeped in holiday cheer and East Texas tradition. For over 40 years, crowds have gathered to watch the lighting of the festive pumping unit, decorated to look like Santa’s favorite reindeer.
Brought to us by Baker Hughes, Rudolph is a full-size Mark 640 oil pumping unit. The unit is fully operational; however, the red paint job is a special touch reserved only for the holiday season. It takes nearly three days for a crew to get Rudolph moved in to his holiday spot in Downtown Lufkin (next to Municipal Court). It takes an electrician about four days to set up the 1,000+ 7-watt lights that adorn Rudolph. When the unit is fully extended, it is 45 feet from top to bottom. Talk about a Christmas miracle! Attached to Rudolph is a 38-foot dump trailer decorated to look like Santa’s sleigh, complete with a wooden cutout of Santa and all of his gifts for the good boys and girls of Lufkin.
Photo by Jackie Zimmerman