Gov. Walker lights Capitol's 100th anniversary Christmas tree

Wisconsin State Farmer

MADISON – Governor Scott Walker officially lit the Capitol’s 100th Anniversary Christmas tree during a ceremony at the Wisconsin State Capitol on Dec. 1. The tree is decorated with ornaments handmade by students across the state celebrating the Capitol’s 100th Birthday.

The Jim Ryf family joins Gov. Scott Walker in the rotunda on Dec. 1, where the tree donated by the family stands, honoring the 100th anniversary of the capitol building.

“A big thank you to the schools and students who helped make ornaments for this year’s Capitol Christmas tree,” Governor Walker said. “For 100 years the Wisconsin Capitol’s Christmas tree has been a destination for families across Wisconsin to celebrate Christmas and our beautiful Capitol building.  We would also like to thank Jim and Debbie for their donation of the tree and to all of those who helped make this 100th Capitol Christmas tree extra special.”

Related:Children decorate State Capitol Christmas tree with style

The Capitol Christmas tree is selected every year from donation requests on a first come, first serve basis. The tree must be a balsam fir approximately 35-55 feet tall.

Soaring 40 feet high, the 35-year-old tree was delivered to Madison just after Thanksgiving after being cut down on the Ryf family property in the Chequamegon National Forest. in the town of Emery in Price County.

Governor Scott Walker chats with members of the Ryf family prior to lighting the Capitol’s 100th Anniversary Christmas tree at the Wisconsin State Capitol. The Ryf family of Price County donated this year's Christmas tree.

The family traveled to Madison on Dec. 1 to participate in the tree lighting ceremony. Members of the Prentice High School Chorale also made the trip to provide holiday music.

In addition to the many students who submitted ornaments, Gov. Walker credited the following following parties who also helped to make this year’s beautiful display at the Wisconsin State Capitol a reality:

  • The tree was harvested and delivered to the capitol by the Great Lakes Timber Producers Association (GLTPA).
  • Henry Schienebeck, GLTPA Executive Director, coordinated the harvest and delivery.
  • The State Capitol Facilities Team lit the tree with 2,000 LED multi-colored lights, hung the decorations, and crafted the tree’s new star.
  • Patti Hellenbrand of Village Creek Quilts in Lodi designed the tree skirt while Cindy Hasse of Cottage Grove quilted it.
  • BouMatic of Madison fabricated and donated the stainless steel tree stand.
  • Ken Lucht of the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad Company supplied the locomotive circling the base of the tree.