Saratoga County

Mechanicville couple’s second blue spruce to light Capitol at holidays

Two years ago, Anthony and Filomena Fiacco called the state and ended up providing one of two holida

Two years ago, Anthony and Filomena Fiacco called the state and ended up providing one of two holiday trees that were displayed in the state Capitol complex in Albany.

This year, the state called them.

A crew from the Office of General Services is expected to arrive Tuesday and take the second of two blue spruce that have grown tall outside the couple’s Round Lake Avenue home.

“Certainly, we’re proud to give it to the state,” Filomena Fiacco, 81, said Thursday. “We’re very happy to donate it.”

The tree, planted in 1984 by Anthony, 83, known in the community as “Chet,” has now grown to around 45 feet tall.

With the trees grown so big, Filomena said the couple called the state two years ago, hoping state officials would accept the donation. After visiting and photographing the two trees, state officials decided to take one for the 2009 holiday display.

“They said that they might like to take the other one, too,” Filomena Fiacco said Thursday.

This year, the Office of General Services is following up.

The couple just got a letter from OGS Commissioner RoAnn Destito saying the state wants their other tree, and will make it a centerpiece of this year’s holiday display.

In 2009, the Fiacco tree went up in East Capitol Park; this year, the other tree will be the main holiday tree at Empire State Plaza.

OGS spokeswoman Heather Groll confirmed the location, and said their tree will be the one featured in the annual tree-lighting ceremony at the plaza on Sunday, Dec. 4. The 5 p.m. lighting ceremony will be followed by fireworks at 6 p.m.

Groll said the state Capitol’s holiday trees are always donated, not paid for from state funds.

“People generally call us up and offer trees,” she said. “We’ll go out and look at the size, width and circumference to see if it’s suitable.”

The ease with which the tree can be removed is another factor given consideration, she said. The trees in Albany have generally come from within the Capital Region, since cutting and transporting them is an elaborate process involving a flat-bed trailer and a crane to lift the tree.

Groll said sponsors pay for the rented crane, but state crews do the rest of the work.

By Tuesday afternoon, the Fiacco tree is expected to be at the Empire

State Plaza, where it will be secured,

trimmed, and then covered with festive but energy-efficient LED holiday lights.

Last year, there was only one state holiday tree displayed in Albany, though most years there are two trees. This year, there will again be two trees.

The second tree, to go up in East Capitol Park, will be coming from a family in Rotterdam, but Groll on Thursday declined to identify them until she was sure they had been notified.

Categories: Schenectady County

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