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The 45-foot-tall Eastern red cedar from the Goff family farm in Coosa County stands brightly at the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery, the largest displayed Capitol Christmas tree in the state’s history. Photo by the governor’s office
This year’s theme for the state’s official Christmas tree and the tree lighting ceremony held last Friday is “Every Light a Prayer for Peace,” with 50,000 lights, as well as stars and handmade ornaments, adorning the tree from Coosa County. Photo by the governor’s office
Workers with the Alabama Department of Transportation deliver the tree to the State Capitol in Montgomery, as well as evened and center cut it before decorating the tree. Photo by the governor’s office
This year’s Christmas tree for the State Capitol was grown and harvested from the Goff family farm in Coosa County, with family members taking the opportunity for a photo op with Gov. Kay Ivey to mark the occasion. Pictured from left are Anna Roberts, Avery Goff, Gov. Ivey, Baxie Goff, Carver Goff, Brooke Goff, and John Goff. Photo by the governor’s office
By Christa Jennings
Senior Staff Writer
While Coosa County contains a large amount of forestland, one Coosa tree in particular has made history and now proudly stands outside the State Capitol in Montgomery, serving as this year’s Capitol Christmas tree.
Harvested from the west side of the county near Richville, the State Capitol Christmas tree was loaded up and delivered to Montgomery last Monday, November 27. Gov. Kay Ivey then held the annual Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony last Friday evening, December 1.
The theme of this year’s ceremony was “Every Light a Prayer for Peace.” All Alabama citizens were invited to attend the ceremony as Ivey threw the switch to light up the Christmas tree for the season.
The Eastern red cedar was delivered to the front steps of the Alabama State Capitol by the Alabama Department of Transportation with a blue siren escort last Monday afternoon.
While trees in the past have measured in at approximately 35 feet tall, this year’s cedar boasts a towering height of 45 feet. This earned it the recognition of being the largest displayed Capitol Christmas tree in Alabama’s history.
This makes it that much more special that the tree hailed from Coosa County, being grown and harvested from the Goff family farm, owned by John and Brooke Goff.
Each year, upon the state’s Christmas tree arrival, a team of ADLOT workers lock, even and center cut the tree before it is hoisted into its stand on display by the Capitol building.
Throughout the week last week, ALDOT workers garnished the large Coosa County evergreen with 50,000 lights, 67 stars representing Alabama’s 67 counties and handmade ornaments from the Garden Club of Alabama. Each handcrafted decoration also reflected the 2023 theme of “Every Light a Prayer for Peace.”
After visiting with the ALDOT employees last Thursday as they decorated the official state Christmas tree, Gov. Ivey shared this message, “I extend my gratitude to the volunteers and employees who are adorning the state Christmas tree and readying the Capitol grounds for our upcoming festivities. I invite all Alabamians to join us in kicking off the merriest of seasons, Christmas.”
The ceremony kicked off at about 5 p.m. last Friday with the 151st Army National Guard Band playing various musical selections prior to the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony that was held at 5:30 p.m. Following remarks by Ivey and other representatives, a countdown was held, and Ivey flipped the switch to light the state’s official Christmas tree for the season.
“As we begin celebrating the joyous season of Christmas, let us embrace our values of faith, family and freedom that define our great nation, while remembering that the greatest gift of all came from humble beginnings in a stable,” said Gov. Ivey.
Coosa’s residents and others can visit the State Capitol and see the tree for themselves through the Christmas season. The Alabama State Capitol is located at 600 Dexter Avenue, Montgomery.