A huge celebration was held in Newport Friday as the giant tree that will decorate the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC this year for Christmas was cut down a few miles outside of town.
Deep in the heart of the Colville National Forest stands a symbol of Christmas.
"We are getting ready to cut the Capitol Christmas tree," said Jen Knutson, Capitol Christmas Tree coordinator for the US Forest Service.
Each year, Washington, DC selects a state to find the best Christmas Tree possible to stand in the nation's capitol. Last year it was Colorado. This year Stevens, Ferry and Pend Oreille counties were on Washington state's short list.
"We did get about 45 trees, we narrowed it down to about eight through the three counties," Knutson said.
In the end a Engleman Spruce in Pend Oreille County won out, the 88-foot tall Spruce drawing people from across the state to the tree cutting celebration.
"We were married in Newport so when we heard this was happening we decided to come celebrate," said Donnita Munshaw.
The Munshaws and several hundred others watched and waited.
"It's fun to come back. It's fun to come home to where memories are made," Robin Munshaw said.
The Kalispel Tribe blessed the tree as a symbol for hope before cranes and chainsaws set to work.
From grill to tail the Mack truck hauling the tree is 103-feet long; 44 year truck driving veteran Duane Brusseau will drive the very wide load.
"Very hard to get around, running over sidewalks and getting close to poles and things," Brusseau said.
The Capitol Christmas Tree will make 11 stops in Washington and 15 across the country before it reaches its final destination Washington, DC.