80-foot holiday tree under 24-hour guard in Shelton - WFSB 3 Connecticut

80-foot holiday tree under 24-hour guard in Shelton

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SHELTON, CT (WFSB) -

An 80-foot Norway Spruce in Shelton is under 24-hour police guard because it is being shipped to Rockefeller Center in New York City for the holiday season.

Crews spent all day on Friday prepping to take the tree on Kazo Drive, so it can be sent to New York City where it will be the centerpiece in the annual Christmas celebration. Workers tied up the branches before the tree gets cut down next week.

With time running out, neighbors and families got in as much camera time with the spruce as they could.

"It's always an honor when your town or your neighborhood can do something that the world actually looks at," said Doug Strickland of Shelton.

Strickland told Eyewitness News that the pictures would be used for his family's Christmas cards.

"It's historic, I guess," Strickland said.

Judy Rivnyak also visited the tree Friday and she has special ties to the annual holiday celebration because she provided the tree to Rockefeller Center in 2007.

"It was for the 75th anniversary, so they made a big thing of it," Rivnyak said.

The homeowner where the tree is located wants to remain anonymous, however Rivnyak said their time out of the spotlight won't last long.

"Gifts and souvenirs, the whole trip into the city, I mean the limo ride, they make you feel very nice," Rivnyak said.

There are concerns about vandalism, so the tree is being guarded around the clock by Shelton police officers. Since it's getting 24/7 attention, the final bill isn't known at this time.

However, it will be picked up by Rockefeller Center officials.

The tree is expected to be taken down sometime next week, but it is unclear when it will arrive in New York City. The official lighting ceremony is Dec. 4.

Anyone, who thinks they have a Norway Spruce worthy of the annual holiday celebration, is asked to take a photo and send it here. Then the submission will be judged by a committee and could be as next year's tree.

Once the holidays are over, the tree will be used as lumber for the Habitat for Humanity.

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