Bozeman 6th Grader to Light U.S. Capitol Tree
By Moosetrack Megan


U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced that he has selected Bozeman sixth-grader Ridley Brandmayr to light the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree at the annual holiday ceremony in Washington, D.C., on December 6.

As the senior Senator from the tree’s state, Tester is tasked with selecting the tree lighter and helping organize this year’s celebration.

“Ridley has shown incredible strength, determination, perseverance, and passion,” said Tester. “Ridley will represent Montana well and I look forward to celebrating this Christmas season with the Brandmayr family and every Montanan.”

The public is invited to celebrate the harvesting of the “People’s Tree” and the beginning of its journey to Washington D.C. on:

Capitol Christmas Tree Harvesting Ceremony
November 7, 2:00 pm
Upper Ford Historic Ranger Station
Yaak, MT

Earlier this year, Ridley tragically lost all of the fingers on his right hand in an accident. Despite the accident, Ridley has continued swimming and playing music. Tester, a former music teacher, lost three fingers on his left hand when he was a child.

“I’m grateful for this opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. and light the Capitol Christmas tree,” said Ridley, 11, who enjoys hunting, fishing, swimming and playing his cello. “I am honored that Senator Tester reached out to me, and I’m excited to represent Montana.”

The Kootenai National Forest and Choose Outdoors are sponsoring the ceremony, which is free, and open to the public. Montana supplied the nation’s tree in 2008 and 1989.

This year’s tree will be cut on November 8 before traveling 3,000 miles from the Kootenai National Forest in northwest Montana to Washington, D.C. by way of Whitewood Transport, a Billings-based trucking company.

Below is a list of scheduled stops:

Monday, November 13

  • Eureka, MT
  • Whitefish, MT

Tuesday, November 14

  • Libby, MT
  • Troy, MT
  • Trout Creek, MT

Wednesday, November 15

  • Thompson Falls, MT
  • Missoula, MT

Thursday, November 16

  • Helena, MT
  • Great Falls, MT

Friday, November 17

  • Fort Belknap, MT
  • Glasgow, MT

Saturday, November 18

  • Glendive, MT
  • Dickinson, ND

Sunday, November 19

  • Grand Forks, ND
  • Browns Valley, MN

Monday, November 20

  • Kansas City, MO

Tuesday, November 21

  • Springfield, MO

Wednesday, November 22

  • Poplar Bluff, MO
  • Paducah, KY

Sunday, November 26

  • Joint Base Andrews, MD





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