1 of 6 | First lady Jill Biden poses with the children of military families Monday as they view the arrival of the official 2023 White House Christmas Tree, at the White House in Washington, D.C. The Fraser fir from Fleetwood, North Carolina helps kick off Holiday festivities in the Nation's Capital. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo
Nov. 20 (UPI) -- The official White House Christmas tree of 2023 arrived Monday at its destination to kick off the start of the holiday season.
A horse-drawn carriage carried the 19-foot Fraser fir, from North Carolina, through the streets of Washington, D.C., to the White House where first lady Jill Biden -- dressed in a festive green coat -- and children of military families gathered to welcome it.
"The tree is magnificent," the first lady said. "Some of the kids said they had never seen a tree so big."
The Ashe County evergreen from Cline Church Nursery in Fleetwood will stand floor to ceiling when it is decorated in the Blue Room of the White House.
This year's White House Christmas tree was selected by the National Christmas Tree Association, as part of a 58-year-old tradition. In a contest every two years, consumers and growers choose which nurseries will provide the trees for the White House and the vice president's official residence.
"For a tree grower, it's at the top of your game," Cline Church, the owner of the Church Tree Farm said. "This is the Super Bowl of the Christmas tree industry."
Last week, Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina congratulated the nursery.
"Excited to see another tree from Ashe County selected for display at the White House!" Tillis wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter.
Earlier Monday, President Joe Biden pardoned two turkeys at the White House as part of a longstanding Thanksgiving tradition.