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North Carolina fir sent to White House

First lady Laura Bush  with the just-delivered White House Christmas tree  on Sunday.  (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
First lady Laura Bush with the just-delivered White House Christmas tree on Sunday. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Associated Press

WASHINGTON – First lady Laura Bush kicked off the holiday season Sunday by standing out in the rain to receive this year’s White House Christmas tree.

A horse-drawn wagon pulled the 20-foot Fraser fir, which will decorate the Blue Room, up to the White House. Bush was waiting under an umbrella.

“It’ll be the great big tree that this year will be decorated with ornaments from all around the United States, decorated by artists from all around the United States,” the first lady said.

Jessie Davis and Russell Estes, owners of River Ridge Tree Farms in Crumpler, N.C., where the tree was grown, joined the first lady, along with their families.

The National Christmas Tree Association has presented the official White House tree since 1966.

Members of the association compete in state and regional competitions to become eligible to take a tree to the national contest. River Ridge was named grand champion in the National Christmas Tree Contest in August.

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