Monday, November 19, 2012

Friday: First Lady Michelle Obama To Receive Official White House Christmas Tree

19-foot Fraser Fir was grown in North Carolina by Grand Champion tree farmers...
The White House winter holiday season officially kicks off this Friday, Nov. 23, when First Lady Michelle Obama will be presented with the Official White House Christmas Tree, which will be displayed in the Blue Room throughout the holidays.  This year's centerpiece tree is from Peak Farms in Jefferson, Ashe County, North Carolina, the White House announced on Monday.  The 19-foot Fraser Fir was grown by the 2012 National Christmas Tree Association Grand Champion winners Rusty and Beau Estes, who will present the tree to Mrs. Obama.  (Above:  Mrs. Obama receiving last year's tree, with her daughters and Bo)

The tree "was selected in early October and harvested this month," the White House said.  The presentation ceremony by the North Portico each year includes the tree being delivered by horse-drawn carriage, complete with a costumed coachman and jingle-bell harnesses for the horses, and a Marine Corps Band playing carols.  Mrs. Obama will "approve" the tree as it is delivered.

Members of the National Christmas Tree Association have presented the Official White House Christmas Tree for display in the Blue Room each year since 1966.  This weekend the White House will be a riot of activity as volunteers and staff deck out the mansion with the holiday decorations.  The First Lady will formally announce this year's currently top-secret holiday theme next week.

*Photo by Eddie Gehman Kohan/Obama Foodorama