BILLINGS – The spirit of Christmas came to Billings early; the star that will top the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree made a stop in the Magic City.

The 75-pound, made-in-Montana copper star was on display in the parking lot of ZooMontana Wednesday morning.

The star is making the 3,000-mile trek to Washington, D.C., to top the 80-foot tall Engelmann spruce from the Kootenai National Forest.

Representatives with Washington Corporations, the Missoula company that funded the project, were on hand.

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They said the star is a good example of how Montana comes together.

“It turned out amazing. It’s just such a great representation for Montana. The project was about eight weeks, is when we reached out to Split Mountain Metal and Western Montana Lighting to see if they can help us and they just exceeded our expectations and just did a fantastic job. It shows the Montana grit of all the people that are here that were part of this project,” said Terri Cheff, director of enterprise development and design at Washington Corporations, the administrative arm of Missoula businessman Dennis Washington’s group of companies.

Cheff said the star will be fastened to the top of the tree before it’s raised.

The star will be removed from the glass box, attached to the top of the tree with a pole, and tethered down.

The tree is then cemented to the ground to give it a sturdy base.

MTN’s Victoria HillĀ