Official state Christmas tree comes from UP

The official state Christmas tree comes from Stephenson in Menominee County this year. (Courtesy photo)

MARQUETTE — A spruce tree from Stephenson,, in Menominee County will travel south to Lansing this month to become Michigan’s 32nd official Christmas tree. The tree, which was chosen by staff from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, is expected to arrive at the Capitol at approximately 8:15 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28. The tree, which is just over 60 feet tall, is being donated by William Winter and his grandson Alex Stevens. This marks the 23rd time the official tree has been selected from the Upper Peninsula. “DTMB’s work to select the state’s official tree is among the department’s most popular and enjoyable projects,” said DTMB Director and Michigan CIO Dave DeVries in a news release. “Everyone, no matter the age, enjoys watching the Christmas tree arrive at its holiday location at the front of the Capitol.” The tree is drawing rave reviews. “It’s another beautiful tree,” said DTMB Christmas Tree Crew Member Heath Miller. “It’s the perfect height and shape for a dazzling display of lights.” The tree will be harvested on Thursday, Oct. 26 and delivered to Lansing with the assistance from the Michigan Association of Timbermen, the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association and Michigan Operators Engineers. The timbermen will cut the tree and transport it to Lansing at no cost to the state. At the Capitol, the Hi-Ball Co. of Lansing will provide a crane and crew to set the tree at the intersection of Capitol and East Michigan avenues. The Christmas tree will remain throughout the holiday season. The tree lighting will take place on Friday, Nov. 17, as part of the Silver Bells in the City celebration. Dignitaries will flip the switch that turns on thousands of lights about 7:45 p.m. One of Michigan’s premiere holiday events, Silver Bells includes a special Electric Light Parade with floats, marching bands and thousands of sparkling lights. The festivities will conclude with a fireworks display above the Capitol dome (weather permitting). For more information on Silver Bells in the City, visit www.silverbellsinthecity.org or contact Adam Lansdell of the M3 Group at adam@m3group.biz or 517-203-3333.