Colville student helps light Capitol Christmas Tree

Published On: Dec 03 2013 06:25:42 PM PST   Updated On: Dec 03 2013 06:29:26 PM PST
Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony
SPOKANE, Wash. -

A piece of Eastern Washington is officially on display in Washington, DC as the capitol Christmas Tree from the Colville National Forest was lit up Tuesday evening.

The 88-foot spruce traveled nearly 5,500 miles and made 27 stops on a 21-day cross country trip before arriving in the nation's capitol. And, for one night politicians put politics aside to deck the halls in Washington, DC and celebrate the tree's lighting.

"Congress has earned the reputation of not being able to play nice with one another but this shows it's possible to do something nice together," Congressman Jim McDermott said.

Out of thousands of kids across Washington state, the person chosen to flip the switch and light the tree, was six-year-old Giovanni Gayner of Hofstetter School in Colville.

"This year our special tree lighting expert is a first grader at Hofstetter School in Colville," Speaker of the House John Boehner said in introducing Gayner.

Gayner flew to the capitol to help Boehner flip the switch, but first the speaker had a surprise for the six-year-old.

"As I understand it, when you grow up, you want to be a police officer? Well the chief and I think if it's okay with you, we'd like to make you a junior capitol police officer for today," Boehner said.

And, with his hat and badge on, Gayner performed his official duty and lit the Capitol Christmas Tree.

The Capitol Christmas Tree will be lit every night from dusk to 11 p.m. throughout the holiday season.