Final Preparations on Capitol Christmas Tree - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Final Preparations on Capitol Christmas Tree

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It's a tradition nearly 60 years in the making. Once a year, a state is picked to provide our nation's capitol with a Christmas tree. This year, it was Montana's turn.
And soon, the switch will be flipped, lighting up the tree for all the nation to see.

One by one, crews worked to put ornaments, every one handmade in Montana, on the tree.

High above sits the 5-foot tall star created in Belgrade. And Buddy Paddy crew leader said it was the most difficult decoration to add to the tree this year.

"This star weighed 80 pounds, so we got a little help from a higher power, actually a lift that was higher than our lift."

"So there was a little bit of nervousness about getting it up," said Maureen McElroy with Choose Outdoors, a nonprofit group that's coordinating the tree's journey from Montana to DC. 

She's nicknamed the tree Elaine.

"Fortunately, Elaine has a split trunk. So they were able to position the star, tether her down in between the trunks, wrap it, and then the creator of the star had created bolts, so there are cable lines to stabilize her," McElroy said.

While taking snapshots with fellow Montanans in front of the Capitol Christmas Tree, she looks at a job well done.

But she and Paddy know there's a few more things to do before Wednesday's lighting ceremony. Like laying down the tree skirt. 

"Well, it should be going on right before the lighting," McElroy said. "I think they're going to let the rain pass tonight."

"Tomorrow is when we'll out all the chairs up, there will be a place for VIP, and we might roll out the red carpet," said Paddy.

And then, they're both looking forward to the celebrations.

And, Montana is certainly representing in DC.

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