Hundreds are expected to watch Wednesday as U.S. Forest Service workers use a traditional crosscut saw to drop an 80-foot Engelmann Spruce -- to begin its journey to Washington, D.C., where it will become the 2016 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree.
The ceremony is set for 11 a.m. at the Little Ski Hill, just west of McCall on Idaho 55. The public is asked to arrive early to help limit traffic congestion.
Isabella Gerard of Boise will help throw the switch when the tree is lit. C-SPAN is scheduled will cover the Dec. 6th tree lighting at 3 p.m. Mountain Time.
“I am so proud that Idaho’s First Congressional District is providing this amazing tree to highlight the celebration of Christmas at the Capitol, and I’ll be honored to represent Idahoans at the tree-lighting ceremony,” Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador said.
Meanwhile, the tree will make a total of fifteen stops in Idaho, including Monday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Idaho State Capitol in Boise.
“Idahoans have a great opportunity to enjoy some early Christmas spirit as the tree tours our beautiful state,” Labrador said. “I invite them to join me in the celebration Monday at the Statehouse.”
The tree from the Payette National Forest is the second U.S. Capitol Christmas tree to come from Idaho. It was chosen from among four finalists that met specifications set by the Architect of the Capitol. Idahoans created 18,000 ornaments to decorate the big tree and companion trees from Idaho that will grace many sites in Washington -- including the offices of Idaho’s Congressional Delegation.
The tree also will stop in Utah, Colorado, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and Maryland before reaching the Capitol.
Here’s the schedule for the tree’s stops in Idaho:
McCall: Saturday, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m., 1000 2nd St.
Cascade: Sunday, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m., Kelly’s Whitewater Park, East Mill St.
Horseshoe Bend: Sunday, 1 p.m. – 2 p.m., Horseshoe Bend School District, 398 School Dr.
Boise: Sunday, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., Cabela’s, 8109 W. Franklin Road
Boise: Monday, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Idaho State Capitol, 700 W. Jefferson St.
Weiser: Tuesday, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m., Main St.
Council: Tuesday, 1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m., 202 Michigan Ave.
New Meadows: Nov. 9, 9 a.m. – 10 a.m., 101 Virginia St.
Grangeville: Nov. 9, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m., Grangeville Air Center, 111 Airport Road
Lapwai: Nov. 10, 10 a.m. – noon, Nez Perce National Historic Park, 39063 U.S. Highway 95
Moscow: Nov. 10, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m., University of Idaho, 709 S. Deakin St.
Coeur d’Alene: Nov. 11, 10 a.m. – noon, Sherman Avenue, between 1st and 2nd Streets
Salmon: Nov. 12, 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., 204 Main St.
Idaho Falls: Nov. 14, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m., Alturas Academy, 3950 S. Yellowstone Hwy.
Twin Falls: Nov. 14, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., 4th/5th and Shoshone Street East