Capitol Christmas Tree in C-Falls

By Beacon Staff

This year’s Capitol Christmas tree is coming from the Bitterroot National Forest. But before the 60-plus foot tree makes its way to the front lawn of the U.S. Capitol, it will be traveling through Montana – including a stop tomorrow night in Columbia Falls.

The First Best Place Task Force and the Columbia Falls Area Chamber of Commerce have planned a community welcoming celebration for the tree on Nov. 5 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Discovery Square on Nucleus Ave.

The square will be decorated in harvest decorations as part of the Chamber of Commerce fall decorating project, and area residents are invited to enjoy food vendors and live music. When the Capitol tree arrives around 5 p.m., there will be a short program, including music from the Columbia Falls High School Band, a performance by musician Jack Gladstone, a flag-raising ceremony by the Civil Air Patrol and an introduction and story about the Capitol Christmas Tree project. A Grand Fir tree that was recently planted at the square will be also be dedicated as the Community Christmas Tree in honor of Ron Buentemeier of Stohlze Land and Lumber. After the ceremony, there will be more music, food, and fun until around 7pm.

Vendors expected to be on hand include: Truby’s Wood Fired Pizza, Amazing Crepes, Cowgirl Coffee, and possibly others. In addition there will be Capitol tree merchandise available for purchase.

Asking a national forest to provide “the People’s Tree” as the Capitol Tree is often called, is a tradition that started in 1970. Each year since then, a different national forest and the state in which the forest is located, are asked provide the tree, and all of the trimmings. The last time Montana provided the national tree was in 1989.