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story.lead_photo.caption Workers on Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, prepare to move a 30-foot White Fir into place inside Little Rock's Capital Hotel after hoisting the tree upright from a second-floor balcony. - Photo by Brandon Riddle

A crew carted a 30-foot fir tree into the atrium at Little Rock’s Capital Hotel on Friday morning, ushering in the Christmas season as Thanksgiving travelers ended their stays for trips back home.

It took about an hour for the annual installation, a tradition that’s been around for at least 10 years, to unfold inside the downtown hotel’s lobby.

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Photos by Brandon Riddle

About a dozen workers with Tipton & Hurst wrapped the White Fir, shipped from Oregon, in a network of multicolored cables before the tree was pulled upright by positioned employees from a second-floor balcony.

Howard Hurst, owner of Tipton & Hurst, told Arkansas Online that the tree was actually a bit taller when it was harvested but had been cut down slightly so it could fit in the atrium.

The fur was shipped in the same order as another downtown Little Rock Christmas tree, a 40-foot evergreen at Capitol Avenue and Main Street, Hurst said.

As preparations were being made to hoist the Capital Hotel tree into place, a girl in pajamas and plush animal slippers sat perched in wonderment on a nearby garland-draped staircase. Other guests marveled at the tree’s large scale.

By shortly before 10 a.m., the evergreen stood tall, barely missing the lobby’s ceiling. Workers were set to push it into position later in the day and ensure it looked just right.

More work will follow this weekend to adorn the evergreen in a festive display of thousands of lights as well as red and gold ornaments and draped ribbon garland.

The tree will be lit in a ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Monday. The event will be feature hot chocolate, eggnog, Christmas cookies and roasted chestnuts.

Throughout the Christmas season, the Capital Hotel will host a variety of other holiday-themed events such as gingerbread house decorating and Storytime with Santa.

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