MILWAUKEE -- Well before the sun came up on Thursday, November 5th, crews began preparing to cut down a very important addition to Milwaukee's holiday celebration.
"We have had this tradition running for 102 years, second only to New York City, so it's a great Milwaukee tradition," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
Just after 6:30 a.m. Thursday, the 40-foot, 4,300 pound Colorado Blue Spruce came down. It is now the 2015 City / County Christmas Tree.
It was donated by the Farina family. The family owns Gen III Woodworks.
They were thrilled to get the news their tree had been selected.
"Disbelief at first and then really excited and couldn't wait for this morning," said Vince Farina.
Dozens of trees were submitted to be the City / County Christmas Tree, but this one was selected due to its size and quality.
"It got high marks and it's beautiful -- so I can see why," said Farina.
After the tree was cut, it was carefully placed on a truck to make the special trip to Red Arrow Park.
"It goes into two cradles and then it gets tied down to the trailer. The weight of it pretty much keeps it secure to the trailer," said Randy Krouse, Milwaukee DPW district manager for the forestry division.
"It's going to take some getting used to -- so yeah I am going to be sad to see it go, but it's going to a good home," said Farina.
Following the harvest, the tree received a Milwaukee Police Department escort to Red Arrow Park, located across from City Hall. Once placed in the park, City Forestry staff will decorate the tree for the lighting ceremony scheduled for Thursday, November 19th at 5:00 p.m.
For more information on the City / County Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony CLICK HERE.