National Christmas tree rolls into Dickinson

Published: Nov. 18, 2017 at 8:35 PM CST
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It's never too early to start thinking about Christmas decorations, including picking out a tree.

There aren't many places that can hold a tree that's 79 feet tall. Meet Lady Elaine, this year's National Christmas tree from Kootenai National Forest in Montana. She is a 76-year-old Engelmann Spruce that will travel more than 3,000 miles before being put up in the capital on November 27.

Hundreds of people showed up in downtown Dickinson to see a giant tree on its way to D.C.

"It's very, very cool, otherwise I don't know if we'd ever get a chance to see something like this,” said Erica Hofland.

The National Christmas Tree stopped in Dickinson to unofficially kick off the Christmas season, even though some people have already started.

"We already got the Christmas decorations up before even Thanksgiving,” said 9-year-old Vincent Scmanus

Christmas in November drives some people mad, but not Larry Spiekermeier. He's driving the tree for the first time.

"I've been driving for 49 and a half years so this here is a pretty special event for a lifetime career,” said Spiekermeier.

Once the tree pulled in, people got a chance to look through the glass trailer and see Lady Elaine all dressed up. Many even signed their name to the banner, and took pictures with the tree. All of them taking in the opportunity to get a preview of what Christmas will look like in the nation's capital.

"Being from a small town in Oklahoma and then moving up here, we've had opportunities. This is a special opportunity that we get to enjoy,” said Garrel Trout.

"The one from back in 08, you couldn't see any of the tree. They had the banner on the side where everybody was signing and stuff so this is the second tree I've seen,” said Richard Benz, who saw the tree back in 2008.

As for the Top of the tree, the Forest Service says this 5-foot copper star will top IT. The star was also made in Montana and shows that state's flower, the bitterroot. The tree's next stop will be in Grand Forks. It will get to Washington D.C. on November 27.