North Carolina siblings Amber Scott and Alex Church visited the White House Monday afternoon to bring a Christmas tree from their family farm to First Lady Jill Biden.
The more than 18-foot Fraser fir tree, from Cline Church Nursery in Fleetwood, will stand in the center of the Blue Room greeting around 50,000 guests of the Bidens during the holiday season.
The public got its first glimpse of the tree as Winston and Ben, two Clydesdales, brought the tree up the White House driveway on a carriage. Ben and Winston were adorned with bells around their chest and tiny Christmas tree shapes braided into their hair.
The carriage had a sign to mark the tree as the official White House Christmas tree of 2023.
A band played Christmas music as Biden greeted the families, posed for pictures with the children and accepted the tree to the White House.
She also said a few words.
“Early Merry Christmas,” Biden said. “Happy Thanksgiving.”
She added that it was nice to have all the families there to welcome the “magnificent tree” to the White House.
“Some of the kids said they had never seen a tree so big before,” Biden said, before inviting everyone back to see the tree once it’s decorated and in the Blue Room.
The Blue Room serves as a reception area at the White House and has been used to greet dignitaries and host weddings. At least one child was christened in it.
It is also the center of holiday celebrations at the White House. Last year, President Joe Biden became the first president to add a permanent menorah to the White House collection, created out of wood from the White House left over from a 1950s renovation.
This tree marks the 15th from North Carolina to be chosen for the White House’s Blue Room.
The National Christmas Tree Association holds a contest every two years to help choose where the tree will come from. Cline Church Nursery was named the 2023 Grand Champion Grower.
Cartner Christmas Tree Farm in Newland won the title for 2024, meaning next year’s tree will also come from North Carolina.