Just one day after Thanksgiving, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at one of Little Rock’s downtown landmarks.
We installed the Capital Hotel Christmas tree on Friday, a 27-foot-tall white fir removed by helicopter from a hillside on the Oregon-Washington border and then delivered to Arkansas. Hotel officials say it’s believed to be one of the largest, if not the largest, natural Christmas trees in the state.
“The holiday season is a fantastic time for family, and we pride ourselves on being the front porch of Little Rock,” said Nick Bradley-Hole, director of rooms for the hotel. “If you don’t get in the spirit, come on down here, because we’ll get you in the spirit pretty quickly.”
More than a dozen officials from the hotel and Tipton & Hurst worked Friday to carefully roll the tree off a trailer, onto dollies and then into the hotel lobby. There, strings were attached and it was methodically righted in the hotel’s main lobby, where it extends through the open second-floor overlook but stops short of a large stained-glass rooftop it sits beneath.
“It’s quite a process getting everything wired up,” Bradley-Hole said. “Safety comes first, obviously, and making sure we get this thing up without hurting anyone. And then getting it straight like everyone has in their household. We have that same problem with a 27-foot tree.”
It took about an hour for officials to get the tree upright and straightened after it was brought into the hotel Friday morning. Our next step will be adding its lights — more than 10,000 will adorn it — as well as ornaments, including one that’s a new glass-blown miniature replica of the hotel.
The Capital Hotel each year uses the large tree to anchor its Christmas festivities, which this year include a lighting ceremony Sunday, appearances by Santa Clause on Sundays in December and a gingerbread house workshop.
The lighting ceremony, which begins at 5:30 p.m., and the Santa appearances, which begin the next Sunday from noon to 2:30 p.m., are free to the public.
Watch the video here.