This year's Capitol Christmas Tree comes all the way from the Kootenai National Forest in Montana. Standing at 79-feet tall, with a 5-foot, handmade, copper star atop, the tree that once stood tall in Big Sky Country now lights the night on the West Front of the United States Capitol. Scroll on for photos from this week's lighting ceremony.

1. Wisconsinites // Every year, Speaker Ryan invites Marines to enjoy the tree lighting ceremony from the balcony of the U.S. Capitol. All of these servicemen come from the Speaker's home state of Wisconsin. (Note the cheese wedge topping the tree behind them.)


2. Dusk // The Capitol flag waves in the wind, just minutes before the 2017 Capitol Christmas Tree is lit for the first time.

The Capitol at dusk

3. 11-year-old Ridley // It takes a genuine Montanan to light the big tree.

11-year-old Ridley

4. The lighting // Photos are worth a thousand words, but some things are just better shown with video. Click below to watch the short version of the tree lighting (13 seconds) or here to watch the full ceremony (23 minutes).


5. The Capitol Christmas Tree

The Capitol Christmas Tree