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Libby and Troy send off the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

| November 16, 2017 4:48 PM

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Libby students on Tuesday spell out the name of their home city for the benefit of a drone operated by Byron Sanderson. (Photo by Byron Sanderson)

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Troy pre-schoolers pose for a photo Tuesday in front of the plexiglass-enclosed tip of the Capitol Christmas Tree. (John Blodgett/The Western News)

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Suzanne Buck of Troy on Tuesday writes her best wishes on the tarp protecting the Capitol Christmas Tree on the trailer that will take it to Washington, D.C. (John Blodgett/The Western News)

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Boy Scouts present the Montana and American flags for the Pledge of Allegience Tuesday during a send-off event for the Capitol Christmas Tree contained in the trailer in the background. (John Blodgett/The Western News)

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Libby Mayor Brent Teske, right, salutes the flag Tuesday before giving remarks at an event held at Libby High School to send off the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree on its journey to Washington, D.C. (John Blodgett/The Western News)

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Lincoln County Commissioner Mark Peck, speaking Tuesday at an event in Libby to send off the Capitol Christmas Tree, displays a slice of the last such tree to be sourced from the Kootenai National Forest. In addition to talking about Libby’s timber tradition, Peck read a letter from Gov. Steve Bullock, who was originally slated to appear at the event but unable to on account of the Montana Legislature’s special session. (John Blodgett/The Western News)

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Montana trucker Larry Spiekermeier, chosen to drive the Capitol Christmas Tree to Washington, D.C., poses for photos Tuesday in Libby. (John Blodgett/The Western News)

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Libby High School cheerleaders and band members participate in Tuesday’s festivities on the high school practice field. (John Blodgett/The Western News)

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Hundreds of people, including local government and Forest Service officials, gathered on the Libby High School practice field Tuesday to give a big send off to the Capitol Christmas Tree. (John Blodgett/The Western News)

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Troy Mayor Darren Coldwell officiates the Capitol Christmas Tree send-off event in Troy on Tuesday. (John Blodgett/The Western News)

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The Capitol Christmas Tree’s second stop on Tuesday was in Troy, where it was parked at the Troy Museum. (John Blodgett/The Western News)

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Pete Tallmadge, the Troy sawyer who felled the Capitol Christmas Tree, spoke Tuesday during the tree’s stop at the Troy Museum. (John Blodgett/The Western News)