A few months ago, we caught wind of an amazing little story brewing in the North Carolina mountains. After decades of trying, Christmas tree farmer Larry Smith had finally reached a lifelong goal — his version of The Super Bowl — when he was selected to provide the official White House Blue Room Christmas Tree for the 2018 holidays.
Now we’re proud to bring you a special SPW holiday production that tells the story of that tree — and the man who grew it — in a 30-minute special event airing on our broadcast partner The RFD-TV Network. We follow the tree — a spectacular 20-foot tall Fraser fir — from its home in Newland, NC to the Blue Room and show you every step along the way.
Here’s the sneak peek trailer of what you’ll see:
“Larry’s Tree” — A Story Of Patience, Persistence & Success
“Larry’s Tree: A Christmas Journey To The White House” airs at 7:30 and 11:30 p.m. on Christmas Day and again at 7:30 a.m. Dec. 26, so set your DVRs now. Some users will also be able to watch on Roku, in Sling’s Heartland Package and — later this week — on Amazon Prime Video. You can click here to find out how to watch RFD-TV in your area.
The National Christmas Tree Association (Yes, Virginia, there is such a thing) holds an annual contest among all Christmas tree-producing states to name a grand champion for the ultimate honor of supplying The White House tree. After three decades of trying, Larry Smith finally won.
We thought that sounded like a TV show — and we were right.
In September, we traveled to Newland to meet a team from The White House to select the tree from Larry Smith’s Mountain Top Fraser Fir Farm. Here’s our coverage of that event:
Just before Thanksgiving, we headed back to Newland for the harvest of the tree and the first leg of the journey to The White House:
Our cameras captured the delivery to The White House, the Smith family’s meeting with the President and First Lady, and the transformation of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue into a Christmas Wonderland — with Larry’s Tree front and center, of course.
We go behind the scenes, spend time with the Smith family and the people of Newland to find out what drove one man to chase a dream so hard for so long.
Show Follows The White House Holiday Transformation
The payoff comes in a spectacular montage where we see The White House come alive for Christmas to the sounds of the classic carol “O Holy Night” (performed by SPW Publisher & Editor Chip Carter, who also hosts the show — look for a separate music video shortly on ChipCarterMusic.com).
Said Carter, “People may have noticed we’ve been a little quiet around here lately. Well, we were busy. It’s been a remarkable year, starting with our partnership with RFD-TV in January, continuing through the first-ever TV coverage of SEPC Southern Exposure, live coverage from SEPC Southern Innovations in Nashville, and the first televised coverage of the PMA Fresh Summit show. There could not be a better way to cap the year than with our first full-length production, and a Christmas special at that. I’ve had goosebumps since September. This is an amazing story that will stick with all of us — and hopefully all of you — for a long, long time.”
Look for teaser videos and more highlights throughout the week as we count down to Christmas.