MARENISCO, Mich. (WJMN) – The official 2021 state Christmas tree, a 63-foot spruce selected by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget was harvested on the Fletcher family’s property in Marenisco on Wednesday.
It truly was a community gathering for this historic event in the small town. This marks the second state tree to hail from Gogebic County, and the 24th from the Upper Peninsula.
“It’s a real honor for our association to be able to harvest the state capitol Christmas tree and harvest it, transport it and get it down to Lansing safely,” said Denny Olson, Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association. “And we put a big team together. This is a big effort. We love to get the kids involved and the schools, the bands, honor guards, everybody.”
Olson has been part of the harvest for the past 20 years and the 35th that Great Lakes Timber Professionals has assisted with the harvest.
The spruce, donated by Carla Fletcher and her family, will arrive in downtown Lansing to decorate the Capitol grounds for the holiday season Oct. 30.
“My husband and I bought this land in 1991,” said Fletcher. “About eight years ago, we came up here and there was a business card on the bulletin board asking if we would be considering giving the tree as a Christmas tree. We kinda said, ‘No, no, no.’ Because, we really didn’t want to get rid of it. Then about three years ago, we decided yes that we would like to get rid of it. So, I called the guy and said, ‘Yeah we would like to get rid of it if you still want it.’ He called me back and said, ‘We’ll put you on the list.'”
Once the tree is transported to the Capitol with help from the Michigan Association of Timbermen and the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association, 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 blue spruce into place at the intersection of Capitol and East Michigan avenues.
The Michigan Capitol Commission, along with the Lansing Board of Water and Light, will develop the lighting scheme and decorate the tree. The entire journey culminates with a tree lighting ceremony Friday, Nov. 19, at the 37th Annual Silver Bells in the City celebration. Dignitaries will flip the switch that turns on thousands of twinkling lights at approximately 7:45 p.m. As one of Michigan’s premiere holiday events, Silver Bells includes an electric light parade with floats and marching bands followed by a community sing-along.
For more information on Silver Bells in the City, visit SilverBellsintheCity.org.