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White House Christmas Tree chosen in Wisconsin

A tree from Wisconsin will be the official White House Christmas tree this holiday season, according to a news release.

The National Christmas Tree Association hosts a contest each year that includes tree farmers from all over the United States and the winner of the competition gets to present the Christmas tree at the White House. The 2017 Grand Champion is Jim, Diane and David Chapman, owners at Silent Night Evergreens in Endeavor, WI.

 GRAND-CHAMPIONA Balsam fir Christmas tree grown by Jim and David Chapman, owners at Silent Night Evergreens in Endeavor, WI, was awarded the 2017 Grand Champion at the National Christmas Tree Association’s 2017 National Christmas Tree Contest.“Winning the competition is really special for these people,” said Marsha Gray, director of communications at the NCTA, in the release. “It’s sort of the pinnacle of what you do, to be recognized by your peers as being the best. Wisconsin has taken more trees to the White House than any other state.”

This is the third time the Chapman family has been awarded Grand Champion status. In 1998 and 2003, they presented Christmas trees to President Clinton and President George W. Bush, respectively.

“We did not expect to win,” said Diane Chapman, co-owner at Silent Night Evergreens, in an interview. “We are so honored to be selected again as the National Grand Champion. We can’t even describe it; it is such an honor to be chosen number one out of our entire industry, it’s incredible. It’s something that you never forget and honestly you never quit bragging about. We are very excited about our trip to Washington.”

Officials say that the White House Christmas tree must be at least 18.5 feet tall and most commercial Christmas tree growers do not have trees that tall, so a 19.5-foot tall Balsam fir was chosen from Hanauer’s Tree Farm in Shawano, WI. Harvest will take place in November; it will be trucked to Washington, DC, then delivered to the White House via horse and wagon and presented by the Chapman family to the First Family at a special ceremony on Nov. 20.

The Chapmans say that even though the tree isn’t from their farm, they’re still proud of it.

“We’re able to find a tree wherever we can and fortunately Dan Hanauer had a lot of beautiful trees we could choose from,” said Diane Chapman. “It’s perfect, it’s beautiful all the way around, it’s got great color, and it just couldn’t be any nicer.”

The tree will be displayed in the Blue Room of the White House.

“The Blue Room tree is really the centerpiece of decorations for the White House,” said Gray. “It’s really spectacular, it’s always featured; when people go to visit, that is the tree.”

Winners of the NCTA’s National Christmas Tree Contest have provided the official White House Christmas Tree for 51 years — ever since 1966.