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Onaway spruce becomes State of Michigan's 36th Christmas tree
October 11, 2023
LANSING, Mich. -- The Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget (DTMB) has selected the official 2023 state Christmas tree. A 60-foot spruce will be harvested from Onaway in Michigan's Lower Peninsula. Onaway resident Vic Ruppert and his family have donated the tree in honor of his late wife Shirley Ruppert. The spruce will arrive in downtown Lansing to grace the Capitol lawn for the holiday season Saturday, Oct. 28.
This is the first tree from Presque Isle County, and the 13th from Michigan's Lower Peninsula since an official tree began being placed at the Capitol each holiday season in 1987.
The tree will be harvested Thursday, Oct. 26, and transported to the Capitol with help from the Michigan Association of Timbermen, the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association, and DTMB's Christmas tree crew. Once at the Capitol, local Boy Scout troops will continue the tradition of untying the tree. The HI-Ball Company of Lansing will provide a crane and crew to hoist the spruce into place near the intersection of Capitol and East Michigan avenues.
Once in place, the City of Lansing's forestry team will prepare the tree for the lighting scheme and decorations developed by the Michigan Capitol Commission and the Lansing Board of Water & Light. The entire journey culminates with a tree lighting ceremony Friday, Nov. 17, at the 39th Annual Silver Bells in the City celebration. Rain or shine, dignitaries will flip the switch that turns on thousands of twinkling lights at approximately 7:30 p.m. As one of Michigan's premiere holiday events, Silver Bells includes an electric light parade featuring more than 70 entries decked out with thousands of lights, high school marching bands, horse drawn carriages, and the arrival of Santa Claus; lighting of the state tree; community sing; and drone holiday light show. The event concludes with a fireworks display over the Capitol.
For more information on Silver Bells in the City, visit SilverBellsintheCity.org or contact Mindy Biladeau, vice president of sales and service for Lansing Entertainment and Public Facilities Authority, at 517-908-4037.