October 13, 2015
A 66-foot spruce from the western Upper Peninsula will travel to Lansing this month to become Michigan’s 30th official Christmas tree. The tree, which was selected by staff from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, will arrive at the Capitol the morning of Saturday, Oct. 31.
The spruce, which is growing in Wakefield, is being donated by Florence Daniels in memory of her husband, the late Jim Daniels. For 30 years, Mr. Daniels was a teacher for the Wakefield School System and coached basketball, track and football. Throughout his career, he received many honors, including U.P. Coach of the Year, and he was inducted into the U.P. Sports Hall of Fame.
Wakefield is 10 miles east of Ironwood and the Wisconsin border. It’s the 21st time the official tree has been selected from the Upper Peninsula.
“DTMB’s work to select and acquire the state’s official tree is one of our most enjoyable projects each year,” said DTMB Director and Michigan CIO David Behen. “It’s always impressive to see the huge tree roll into Lansing on the back of a timberman’s semi.”
The 2015 tree will be harvested, at no cost to the owners, on Wednesday, Oct. 28. DTMB will bring the tree to Lansing with help 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 volunteer a crane and crew to set the tree at the intersection of Capitol and East Michigan avenues.
The tree lighting will take place on Friday, Nov. 20, as part of the Silver Bells in the City celebration. 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 Mindy Biladeau, Downtown Lansing Inc. executive director and Silver Bells coordinator, at 517-487-3322.