HOT SPRINGS, Va. – The Homestead is keeping tradition alive by raising a donated Christmas tree in the Great Hall.
While the usual large ceremonial lighting didn’t happen, 10 News was the only news outlet on hand as the hotel flipped the switch on the time-honored tradition.
Kathleen Knighton’s daughter called The Homestead last year offering to donate the tree.
Staff drove to Covington to check it out and agreed the tree was a fit.
However, they were a little surprised after they cut it down.
“We thought it was 18 feet and it measured at over 20 feet the day that we brought it in,” said Sarah Braxton, special events and marketing manager.
The grounds crew somehow got the 20-foot-tall tree through a four foot door at the resort.
“It’s always just so cool to see them raise it up. They hoist it from the banister to pull it up straight and they pull to the left and pull to the right and the team on the ground is pushing it up to hold it in place while they screw it in to its base. It’s just such a fun experience,” said Braxton.
“They did a good job though. They put a lot of lights on it and all that and they worked hard on it,” said Knighton.
Knighton says she was happy to donate the tree. It’s been in her yard for more than 20 years. She remembers her granddaughter decorating it each year until it got too big.