LANSING — A 63-foot blue spruce from the city of Kingsford in the Upper Peninsula has been chosen as the state’s 29th Christmas tree. Selected by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, the tree will be delivered to the state Capitol on Nov. 1.
To honor the 30th Silver Bells in the City celebration, the tree will be strung with an additional 4,000 lights, illuminating Capitol Avenue with an estimated total of 8,000 to 9,000 lights.
“We scoured the entire state and have found the perfect tree for this year’s 30th annual Silver Bells in the City celebration,” said DTMB Director and state CIO David Behen. “It will be a great sight for all Michiganders when all the hard work pays off with the annual tree lighting celebration in downtown Lansing.”
The 2014 tree will be harvested, at no cost to the owners, Bill and Helen Bjorkman, in Kingsford on Oct. 30. Kingsford is in southwest region of the Upper Peninsula, near the Wisconsin border. This is the 20th time that the state tree has been selected from the Upper Peninsula.
The search for the state Christmas tree started in July when the call for nominations was announced. Nominations were accepted through Aug. 15, when the evaluation process began.
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 will volunteer a crane and crew to set the tree.
The tree lighting will take place the evening of Nov. 21 as part of the 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, immediately followed by the lighting of the tree and a spectacular fireworks display cascading over the capitol dome (weather permitting).