Lighting the Capitol Christmas Tree (photos)

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Eleven-year-old Ridley Brandmayr of Bozeman, Montana, poses with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) on Dec. 6 at the lighting of the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. Photo by Jeff Malet.

The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree was lit by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) with the assistance of 11-year-old Ridley Brandmayr of Bozeman, Montana, on Dec. 6, during a ceremony on the Capitol’s West Front Lawn.

This year’s tree was chosen from the Kootenai National Forest, located in the northwest corner of Montana. The 80-pound copper star that topped the 79-foot Engelmann spruce and the Christmas ornaments, all handmade, came from different parts of the Big Sky State. The tree will be lit from nightfall until 11 p.m. every night through Monday, Jan. 1.

Participating in the tree lighting ceremony were Montana’s congressional delegation, Sen. Jon Tester (D), Sen. Steve Daines (R) and Rep. Greg Gianforte (R); Ronald Sarasin, president of the U.S. Capitol Historical Society; U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue; and Chief of the U.S. Forest Service Tony Tooke. Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers served as emcee.

View Jeff Malet’s photos from the U.S. Capitol tree lighting ceremony by clicking on the photo icons below.

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