The governor and his wife take part in the state’s annual tree-lighting ceremony.
Governor Jim Doyle tells the crowd gathered in the Capitol rotunda that Christmas trees are significant for job creation in Wisconsin, adding that Wisconsin has the best tree growers in the World. “We should all be very proud in Wisconsin that there are families all over the United States, they may not know it, but they’re sitting around a Wisconsin-grown tree when they are enjoying these holidays. And we know a tree grown in Wisconsin makes this holiday especially meaningful.”
Doyle is proud of the role Wisconsin tree growers play in maintaining a clean environment. He says the Badger State is the first in the nation to be certified as having sustainable forests.
Doyle remembers those serving in the military overseas in harm’s way. “Of course, during this holiday season, we in Wisconsin again are thinking of and praying for men and women who are in other parts of the world serving us, and for whom we pray for their safe return to this great state.”
The outgoing governor talks about family tradition — selecting, putting up and decorating the tree; and the inevitable friendly family arguments. A little different, he says, than holidays at the governor’s mansion when he enjoyed several decorated trees without lifting a finger.
Just before helping her husband light the 30-foot Fraser fir, first lady Jessica Doyle gets a little nostalgic as she thanks everyone for their support over the past eight years.
This year’s 30-foot Fraser fir was donated by Jon Schultz of the Northwoods Evergreen and Wire Company near Merrill. It has 2,400 lights, 700 feet of garland, and 1,400 ornaments that were handmade and donated by Wisconsinites.