As millions of voters streamed to the polls after a historically ugly presidential race, workers Tuesday delivered a 60-foot dose of early holiday cheer to the state Capitol.
A California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection crew finished trucking in the white fir from a forest near Redding to the west steps of the Capitol. Workers later put up the tree and over the coming weeks will string its branches with 10,000 low-energy lights and decorations made by people with developmental disabilities.
A tree-lighting ceremony with Gov. Jerry Brown and others is set for Dec. 5. It would be the first in three years: heavy rains forced the cancellation of the December 2014 event and last year’s ceremony was called off hours after the terrorist attack at Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino.
This year’s tree tips the scales at more than 6,600 pounds, making it the heaviest Capitol Christmas tree in at least five years, according to the Department of General Services.
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The Capitol won’t be the only state building decked out for the holidays. Speaking to reporters after dropping off his ballot Tuesday, Brown said the governor’s mansion will be decorated with “angels and reindeer.” “We just took down our Halloween decorations and now we’re putting up our Christmas decorations,” Brown said.
Tuesday’s tree grew in the 9,033-acre Latour Demonstration State Forest in eastern Shasta County, one of eight demonstration forests statewide operated by Cal Fire to showcase better forest management practices. People can camp there, as well as request permits to cut down their own Christmas trees. (Many candidates weigh less than 3 tons.)