Tester Announces Bozeman Sixth-Grader Will Light U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

Senior Senator Will Lead Holiday Ceremony, Announces Places to See Kootenai Forest Tree

.(U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced that he has selected Bozeman sixth-grader Ridley Brandmayr to light the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree at the annual holiday ceremony in Washington, D.C., on December 6.

As the senior Senator from the tree’s state, Tester is tasked with selecting the tree lighter and helping organize this year’s celebration.

“Ridley has shown incredible strength, determination, perseverance, and passion,” said Tester. “Ridley will represent Montana well and I look forward to celebrating this Christmas season with the Brandmayr family and every Montanan.”

The public is invited to celebrate the lighting of the “People’s Tree” on:

U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
December 6 | 6 p.m.
West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol
Washington D.C.

Earlier this year, Ridley tragically lost all of the fingers on his right hand in an accident. Despite the accident, Ridley has continued swimming and playing music. Tester, a former music teacher, lost three fingers on his left hand when he was a child.

“I’m grateful for this opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. and light the Capitol Christmas tree,” said Ridley, 11, who enjoys hunting, fishing, swimming and playing his cello. “I am honored that Senator Tester reached out to me, and I’m excited to represent Montana.”

The Kootenai National Forest and Choose Outdoors are sponsoring the ceremony, which is free, and open to the public. Montana supplied the nation’s tree in 2008 and 1989.

The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree kicked off its journey in Yaak, Montana on December 8. It will be traveling 3,000 miles from the Kootenai National Forest in northwest Montana to Washington, D.C. by way of Whitewood Transport, a Billings-based trucking company. And folks in Big Sky Country will have a chance to see the tree as it stops in 12 different cities across Montana this week.

You can track the tree HERE, the schedule of stops is below. 

Monday, Nov. 13:

  • Eureka, MT
    11:00 a.m. | Eureka Town Hall | 11 Dewey Avenue
  • Whitefish, MT
    2:30 pm | Don K Whitefish Dealership | 6219 Highway 93 South

Tuesday, Nov. 14:

  • Libby, MT
    9:00 a.m. | Libby High School | 150 Education Way 
  • Troy, MT
    11:30 a.m. | Troy Museum | 141 St. Regis Haul Rd.
  • Trout Creek, MT
    3:30 pm | 11 Park Street

Wednesday, Nov. 15:

Thursday, Nov. 16:

  • Helena, MT
    11:00 a.m. | 1301 E 6th Ave between Montana Ave | Roberts Street 
  • Great Falls, MT
    6:00 p.m. | Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center | 4201 Giant Springs Road

Friday, Nov. 17:

Saturday, Nov. 18:

  • Glendive, MT
    8:00 a.m. | Albertson’s parking lot | 307 Harmon Street

For more information on the U.S. Captiol Christmas Tree, you can visit its WEBSITE or follow the tree on FACEBOOK and TWITTER.