CapitolTree

The Englemann spruce was carefully loaded onto a trailer Tuesday to begin its long journey back to Washington, D.C., where it will light up the U.S. Capitol lawn during the holiday season.

Photo courtesy of Capitol Christmas Tree

The U.S. Capitol Christmas tree that was shipped from far northwestern Montana is all dressed up and ready for this afternoon’s lighting ceremony.

Bozeman sixth-grader Ridley Brandmayr will be helping in a 30-minute ceremony set to start at 3 p.m. Montana time on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building. Brandmyer will be joined by U.S. Senator Jon Tester of Montana and House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

You can watch a live stream of the event here:

Tester chose the 11-year-old Brandmayr for the honors after the sixth-grader from Sacajawea Middle School in Bozeman lost all the fingers on his right hand in a kitchen accident on June 30.

The 79-foot tree, an Engelmann spruce, was trucked some 3,500 miles from the Yaak Valley in the Kootenai National Forest. Larry Spiekermeier of Plains, a two-time Montana Motor Carriers driver of the year, was behind the wheel.

Montana also sent 77 smaller Christmas trees to Washington D.C. to decorate the halls of Congress, the U.S. Forest Service, and other federal office building across the nation’s capital. Thousands of handmade skirts and ornaments from Montana also made the trip.

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