Shelton tree to shine bright at Rockefeller Center this year - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Shelton tree to shine bright at Rockefeller Center this holiday season

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SHELTON, CT (WFSB) -

A tree in Shelton is on its way to dazzle hundreds of thousands as the centerpiece of New York City's holiday season as the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.

The enormous Evergreen in front of John and Louise Vergoshe's home was under constant surveillance since it was chosen. On Thursday, it was cut down and prepared to be brought to New York City.

"I've got a lot of memories with this tree but I think it's great that it's going to New York City for millions to see and cherish," said Nathan Vargoshe of Shelton.

Preparations for the event start early. Thanksgiving is still weeks away, but the tree needed to be brought into the city before then.

"We thought about submitting it for a number of years and when the boys were younger," said John Vargoshe of Shelton. "They didn't want to part with it and through the years, more input from people about it. 'Boy it would be a great to see it at 30 Rock.'"

Neighbors have been taking advantage of having such an icon right in their own neighborhood.

"We came down to take a picture for our Christmas card," Shelton resident Doug Strickland said. "It's historic, I guess."

Crews actually started getting the tree ready last week by wrapping up the 76-foot, 12-ton Norway Spruce.

The Vargoshes told Eyewitness News over the years they've made a number of trips to Rockefeller Center to see the trees, yet at the same time this is bittersweet.

"We see it every time we pull in the yard, every time we leave, watching over our yard," said Louise Vargoshe of Shelton. "It's baby swings and kids climbing it, so there are a lot of memories tied up with that tree."

The tree is chosen every year through photographs sent in for judging, and this is the second time in recent memory that a tree from Shelton was chosen.

Judy Rivnyak provided the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in 2007 and said it was an experience she'll never forget.

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

Rockefeller Center officials are picking up the tab to have police officers stand guard 24 hours a day to prevent anyone from vandalizing the tree.

The tree-lighting ceremony in New York City has been scheduled for Dec. 4. The Vargoshes said they will be attending the ceremony.

"We've never been there for a lighting, so I think we're all pretty excited about that. I can't wait to see it," Louise Vargoshe said. "I'm sure it will be absolutely gorgeous. John always said if he hit lotto, he was going to hire someone to decorate it. I guess we hit it, because Rockefeller center is going to decorate it for us."

The Vargoshes said they're going to pick out and plant another tree at their Shelton home.

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 used as next year's tree.

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

To submit your tree for the honor, click here.

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