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U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, a gift from the people, headed toward Washington, D.C.

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The 88-foot Engelmann spruce selected as the 2013 Capitol Christmas Tree is hoisted onto a flatbed truck, where it will be secured for the 5,000-foot journey across the country. (U.S. Forest Service photo)

The 88-foot Engelmann spruce selected as the 2013 Capitol Christmas Tree is
hoisted onto a flatbed truck, where it will be secured for the 5,000-foot journey
across the country. (U.S. Forest Service photo)

Posted by Franklin Pemberton, Colville National Forest, and Kathryn Sosbe, Office of Communication, U.S. Forest Service


More than 300 people gathered on in 25-degree weather to witness the harvesting of the 88-foot 2013 Capitol Christmas Tree from the Colville National Forest, the first step in its 5,000 mile journey from Washington State to the U. S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

 

More than a dozen spotters and equipment operators manipulated the tree into position as the Mack Truck pushed the trailer underneath. The enormity of the Engelmann spruce became apparent as the tree floated above the trailer while a few extra feet from the trunk had to be removed.

 

Every December, the Speaker of the House hosts a lighting ceremony on the U.S. Capitol grounds. With a simple flip of a switch roughly 10,000 lights bring the tree to life. But first it has to make the journey.

 

Ornaments decorated by students at an after school program in Omak, Wash., will be used on the 2013 Capitol Christmas Tree. (Photo courtesy U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree)

Ornaments decorated by students at an after school program in Omak, Wash., will be used on the
2013 Capitol Christmas Tree. (Photo courtesy U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree)

The progression of the tree across the country may be tracked on the 2013 Capitol Christmas Tree website, on their Facebook page and @CapitolTree2013 on Twitter.

 

The Washington State tour dates will include Colville and Spokane, Nov. 5; Republic and Wenatchee, Nov. 6; Everett and Olympia, Nov. 8; Vancouver and Kennewick, Nov. 9.

 

The rest of the tour will begin with a stop Nov. 10 at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. That stop will be followed by appearances in Ogden, Utah, Nov. 11; Spanish Fork, Utah, Nov. 12; St. George, Utah, Nov. 13; Sedona and Flagstaff, Ariz., Nov. 14; Albuquerque, N.M., Nov. 15; Amarillo, Texas, Nov. 18; Dallas, Nov. 18; Little Rock, Ark., Nov. 19; Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 20; Knoxville, Tenn., Nov. 21; Roanoke, Va., Nov. 22; Hagerstown, Md., Nov. 23; and Allentown, Penn., Nov. 23.

 

The 2013 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is a gift from the people, and the commemorative ornaments are the result of a partnership between Columbia Cedar Inc. and Colville, Wash., High School. Columbia Cedar provided the wood, and the engraving class at the high school made the ornaments, which are sold by local merchants in northeast Washington State and at Capitol Christmas Tree events. (Photo courtesy U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree)

The 2013 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is a gift from the people, and the commemorative ornaments are
the result of a partnership between Columbia Cedar Inc. and Colville, Wash., High School. Columbia
Cedar provided the wood, and the engraving class at the high school made the ornaments, which are
sold by local merchants in northeast Washington State and at Capitol Christmas Tree events.
(Photo courtesy U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree)

The tree will arrive Nov. 24 at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. After a night’s rest, the tree will be paraded into Washington, D.C., on Nov. 25.

 

Every year the U.S. Forest Service plays an integral role in providing the tree, dubbed the “People’s Tree” because it comes from public land. The cost of moving the tree, providing ornaments and hosting various events is covered by a non-profit organization dedicated to the event. Forest Service employees provide support as part of their duties.

 

US Forest Service
Last modified November 04, 2013
http://www.fs.fed.us

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