Michael Scott stands next to the state's new Christmas Tree (Photo by Jim Franco/Spotlight News)
COLONIE – There are two reasons why Michael Scott wanted the state to use his some 50-foot pine tree as its Christmas Tree this year.
The first is practical — it was getting too big for his Windlass Drive front lawn and the state came and took it away for free.
The second is sentimental, and more important — his late wife always wanted to decorate it for Christmas.
“I think she would like this,” he said of Florence, who died just shy of eight years ago.
He moved to the cul-de-sac located off of Alpine Drive, which is off of Forts Ferry Road, about 13 years ago. Two weeks ago, he said the idea to donate it came to him and he started making phone calls. He wrestled with the famous New York state bureaucracy for a while, and was finally directed to the Office of General Services.
“It was a project, and I was getting kind of frustrated, but they were up here the next day and they called about a week later,” he said while crews latched the tree onto a flatbed trailer in preparation for its ride to Albany.
Scott’s tree will be located on the Empire State Plaza and the second – which made the trip from Rome, Oneida County, compliments of the Mendiola family – will be located on East Capitol Park.
There will be a formal tree lighting ceremony on Sunday Dec. 3 from 1 to 8 p.m. with free parking and free ice skate rentals courtesy of Hannaford Supermarkets starting at 3 p.m.
The event will also feature horse and carriage rides starting at 1 p.m. and musical performances starting at 3:45 p.m. The Hudson Mohawk Figure Skating Club will perform at 3:45 p.m.
The tree lighting and fireworks will begin at 5:15 p.m. followed by a Rock and Skate.
Click on a photo below to view a full size version of the rest.