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      State Christmas tree harvested in U.P.

      Some people may still have their Halloween decorations up, but in Bergland on Wednesday, it was beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

      The town is home to this year's State Capitol Christmas Tree and on Wednesday morning, they cut it down.

      What makes this tree the perfect Capitol Christmas Tree? It TMs about 65 feet tall with branches spreading out 30 feet at the base.

      It TMs had 68 years to grow, and most importantly, it's in a great location with plenty of room to fall.

      "This community, the Bergland community, really came alive and came together for this, said Denny Olson, a member of the State Christmas Tree Crew. This is the farthest away the tree has ever been."

      Josh Lopac and his wife, Amanda, graciously donated the tree to the state.

      Lopac joined hundreds of others who watched as the first cuts were made.

      "It TMs a neat opportunity to have something from our property get seen by hundreds of thousands of people, said Lopac. It only happens once a year and it's a once in a lifetime experience."

      Even before the tree came down, the crowd got in the Christmas spirit with the help of the Ewen-Trout Creek school choir.

      "The ceremony was absolutely fantastic, said spectator Tom Borseth. It was good to see all the kids here that were able to get out of school. They were really excited, especially when the tree popped at the end and everyone gasped."

      The tree will begin its long trip"about 550 miles--to Lansing Thursday morning. It's expected to arrive sometime on Saturday.

      Of course it won't go up until November 20--that's the day of Michigan TMs annual Silver Bells parade and Christmas tree lighting.

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