Rhinelander well represented at Capitol tree lighting
A Rhinelander tree donated by a Rhinelander family and Rhinelander student musicians helped Governor Scott Walker light the Capitol Christmas tree Dec. 4
in a ceremony at the Wisconsin State Capitol. Governor Walker was joined by representatives from the Wisconsin Christmas Tree Producers Association, the generous individuals and families who donated to help decorate the State Capitol and Executive Residence, and members of the Rhinelander High School wind ensemble and show choir. The Capitol Christmas tree is decorated with ornaments hand-made by students from across Wisconsin. The students designed the ornaments with this year’s theme, Wisconsin Sports, in mind.
“Families across the state share a love for a variety of Wisconsin sports,” Governor Walker said.
“Looking at this year’s tree, you can see many of our sporting traditions represented by the hand-crafted ornaments created by students from around the state. Our thanks to the students and teachers who took the time to send us these ornaments, as well as the Kowieski family, who generously donated this magnificent tree.”
Every year, the Capitol Christmas tree is selected from donation requests on a first-come, first-serve basis. The tree must be a balsam fir of approximately 35-55 feet tall.
The 2015 Capitol Christmas Tree was donated by Brad and Elizabeth Kowieski of Rhinelander, Wisconsin. Brad, Elizabeth, their sons, Brody and Hank, and Brad’s parents, Bill and Jane Kowieski, donated a 40-foot balsam fir tree. Brad planted the tree at his parents’ house on Arbor Day, 1985. When he planted the tree, Brad was in fourth grade at Nativity Our Lord Catholic School in Rhinelander.
Following the tree lighting ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda, Governor Walker joined members of the Wisconsin Christmas Tree Producers Association (WCTPA) for a reception. WCTPA works to educate the public about real Christmas trees and wreaths, and also coordinates activities that benefit the Christmas tree industry.