A bit of the Payette National Forest is ready for its big trip to Washington, D.C. for the holidays. Today, the nation's Christmas tree was cut down off the Little Ski Hill near McCall. The 80-foot-tall Engelmann Spruce will soon be lit up in red, green and gold.
"It's pretty exciting for this area to offer something like that and to have the whole nation be able to enjoy it," said McCall resident Warren Kline.
Officials say the tree was chosen from among four finalists that met specifications set by the architect of the capitol. Hundreds came out to watch loggers cut down the tree using a traditional crosscut saw.
"I was not expecting on Wednesday morning that we would have had a turn-out like this," said Kline.
Before making its 300,000 mile trip to D.C., the holiday tree will make 15 stops in the Gem State, including Coeur d'Alene, Twin Falls and, of course, the state capitol. Officials say the tree will be decorated with over 18,000 handmade ornaments, which represent the state symbols of Idaho. On December 6th, the whole country will watch as an Idaho resident flips the switch to turn on the holiday cheer.