Governor Kelly receives annual Christmas tree at Cedar Crest

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Cedar Crest.

The residence of Governor Laura Kelly received the annual delivery of a Christmas tree on Tuesday.

The long-running tradition included a horse-drawn carriage that arrived at the front steps of Cedar Crest, carrying the tree.

“I’m telling you when this place is decorated for the holidays, there’s nothing like it in all of Kansas,” Gov. Kelly said.

This year’s tree was donated by Strawberry Hill Christmas Tree Farm, out of Lawrence. This was the family-owned company’s third time delivering the governor’s tree, and the family said it’s a special story they tell.

The delivery drew in a crowd of tree growers and staff from the Kansas Forest Services, among others.

“It’s an awesome feeling,” Gov. Kelly said. “I get nostalgic for holidays.”

Strawberry Hill Christmas Tree Farm opened for the season last weekend and said its sales have already gone up compared to last year.

More people are wanting to try real trees this year, either because of having one during their childhood or just wanting to give it a try, according to owner Lyn Walther.

“The process of putting them up, taking them down. The stories of ‘oh, do you remember when I got this? Do you remember so and so got that?'” Walther said. “This kind of…creating a story for your family and for yourself.”

This is the farm’s 35th year selling Christmas trees, and it seems to be a passion they hold dearly.

“I like walking out in the field and checking out all the trees. And some of them have a tendency of having their own character and sometimes I give them names,” said Walther’s son, Mark.

Walther said her favorite thing about owning a Christmas tree farm is the people who stop by the farm, especially the children eating cookies and riding hayrides.

“The people. It’s the people. And the season is so much fun, and so many stories,” Lyn said.

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