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Langlade County tree dedicated at State Capitol
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A stately Langlade County tree is now filling the state Capitol rotunda with fragrance and lights, after two lighting ceremonies on Thursday.

Gov. Scott Walker, early Thursday morning, presided over a low-key ceremony to turn on the lights of the 30-foot balsam fir, donated by Jim Draeger of Antigo and cut near Kempster.

But the lights were turned back off until a noontime ceremony where they were switched on a second time by Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp and members of the Antigo High School trumpet ensemble.

“Thank you to everyone who took time to create the wonderful ornaments symbolizing our Wisconsin Traditions at the State Capitol,” Walker said. “Visitors will get to see how beautifully the Capitol is decorated during the holidays and learn about the traditions we value.”

Boumatic, a Madison company, fabricated and donated a new tree stand, which is currently holding up the 2013 Capitol Christmas Tree

Patti Hellenbrand of Lodi and Cindy Hasse of Cottage Grove spearheaded the effort to make a new Capitol Christmas tree skirt. Hellenbrand, who owns Village Creek of Lodi, designed the tree skirt and donated the materials for the skirt along with her time to piece it together, and bind it. Hasse did the actual quilting

The former tree skirt, which has been used since 1989, was made by Sherry McClain of Sparta. The two tree skirts will be used on a rotating basis going forward.

“Many thanks to Boumatic of Madison for donating the time, resources, and expertise necessary to create a tree stand that can hold the 30 foot tall 2013 Capitol Christmas Tree,” Walker said. “I’d also like to recognize Patti Hellenbrand and Cindy Hasse for making the new tree skirt, and Sherry McClain for allowing the state to display her beautiful tree skirt for more than 20 years.”

Walker trimmed the tree with ornaments hand-made by people from around the state.

“Each year, the Capitol Christmas tree is beautifully decorated thanks to school children and people across the state who contributed their time and talents,” Walker said. “The tree is stunning this year, thanks to all of the ornaments which really symbolize all that is great about Wisconsin.”


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The sparkling Capitol Christmas Tree, provided by Jim Draeger at Kempster.
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