LANSING — After months of searching far and wide across Michigan, the state’s 28th Christmas tree, a 68-foot blue spruce, was found in the northwestern reaches of the Upper Peninsula. Selected by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB), the tree will be delivered to the state Capitol on Saturday, Nov. 9.
The search for the state Christmas tree started in June when the call for nominations was announced. Nominations were accepted through the end of July, when the evaluation process began.
Donated by John and Barbara Waara, the 2013 tree will be harvested, at no cost to the owners, in Iron River, Mich. on Wednesday, Nov. 6. Since first nominated in 2010, the tree has grown a foot and a half. This is the 19th tree to be selected from the Upper Peninsula; the other nine trees have come from the Lower Peninsula.
DTMB will bring the tree to Lansing with help from the Michigan Association of Timbermen and the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association. The timbermen will cut the tree and transport it to Lansing at no cost to the state. DTMB will escort the tree to the Capitol, where a crew from Capitol Facilities will work with Hi-Ball Company of Lansing, who volunteers a crane and crew to set the tree. Photo opportunities will be available during the setting of the tree on Nov. 9 at 8:30 a.m.
The tree lighting will take place on the evening of Friday, Nov. 22 as part of the 29th annual Silver Bells in the City celebration. Silver Bells in the City, one of Michigan’s premiere holiday events, is highlighted by a special Electric Light parade, which is immediately followed by the lighting of the state tree and a spectacular fireworks display cascading over the capitol dome.