West Virginia has become part of Randy Farley's holiday tradition, and he wouldn't have it any other way.
Farley works as a Tennessee contractor most of the year, but come November he can be found hoisting Christmas trees around for customers at Capitol Market. Farley works for Lily's Landscaping of Flat Top.
"I've been doing this for about 14 years," Farley said. "I move here for about six weeks and stay in a motel.
"I figure we handle every tree 14 or 15 times," he said of the hard work that begins with harvesting trees on his friend's 1,500-acre tree farm and ends by tying a tree onto a car top.
He expects Lily's to sell 1,200 trees this season, and some customers already have bought theirs.
"I sold two yesterday and two today," he said Wednesday.
Most vendors were gearing up Wednesday at the outdoor market, readying their supply of wreaths, trees and other holiday decorations. Most said they expect the bulk of their trees to be sold the weekend of Nov. 30.
"A lot of people come out and look the day after Thanksgiving," said Felicia Hathaway, who is helping her husband, Alan, with sales at their Jameson Farms booth. "But most sales come after that."
But Alan Hathaway, who also owns the Purple Onion and WV Marketplace, said some people shop early and he sold four trees to one customer Wednesday.
"Most people want to get in front of it," he said of the trend toward earlier decorating. "They just want to get it done. That weather scare in October got people in the mood to start decorating."
That includes him. The Hathaways put their own live tree up in their Culloden home last week.
Felicia, a Cabell County teacher, comes to the market on weekends to help with the greenery booth.
"In the summer I help with the trees on the farm, mowing around them, trimming, maintaining them," she said.