BOISE, Idaho — Monday night people all over the state gathered to light the Idaho State Capitol’s traditional holiday tree.
Program Specialist for the Department of Administration Kim Rau says finding the perfect Christmas tree is something they take very seriously.
"This is Idaho's holiday tree,” Rau said. "We look for the appearance of the tree, the shape, the fullness and what not. The height is important and how it would look in front of the capitol."
The tree is selected from a handful of community nominations, but the last two years have been different.
“We identified last year’s tree and they agreed to let us have that tree and now the twin tree which is now out there this year,” Rau said.
Rau says traditionally the Christmas tree is a symbol of Idaho’s community and that’s what they look for when picking the perfect tree.
"We do want a local tree. An Idaho Tree,” Rau said.
Boise Resident David Beale donated this years 50-foot Blue Spruce tree, and he says it holds many memories.
"A friend of mine and myself planted it 25 years ago and it's been growing ever since,” Beale said.
He says being in front of the statehouse is just one of the many adventures the tree has had.
"We planted it. It's been in front of our house longer than my daughter has been alive, so she's grown up knowing this tree,” Beale said.
The tree was taken down days before the lighting ceremony, but Beale says it wasn’t until that day when it finally hit him.
"That experience is really when it hit home. There are all these people gathered around the tree and there is Christmas Carols and it's our tree standing in front of the capitol and it was just wild,” Beale said.
Beale says he is honored to share their tree with the rest of the state.
"We are super happy to donate to the citizens of Idaho and have it standing this Christmas season for everybody to enjoy,” Beale said.