WASHINGTON, NOVEMBER 28, 2011 AT 2:45 PM EST - A 65-foot white fir from Stanislaus National Forest selected to be this year’s Capitol Christmas Tree is scheduled to arrive on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 28 at 10 a.m. in preparation for its official lighting ceremony on Dec. 6.
The Forest Service’s presentation of the tree to the Capitol continues a rich history and tradition that dates to 1970. Private individuals, organizations and businesses from California raised funds to cover the cost of the cross-country venture. Similarly, thousands of handmade ornaments by Californians will decorate the tree.
“The Forest Service is honored to provide the nation with the Capitol Christmas Tree, which is hand selected from one of our national forests each year,” said Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell.
Known as “The People’s Tree,” the white fir toured California before traveling through communities in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Indiana, North Carolina, and Virginia. Just prior to its arrival in Washington, the tree will also make a stop in Pennsylvania.
For the first time in its 41-year history of providing the Capitol Christmas Tree, the Forest Service held a food drive during the tree’s weeklong tour in California. It donated food to two food pantries in Gallup, N.M., which holds one of the highest poverty rates in the nation.
“Now more than ever, this is the season to put others first and put service before self,” Tidwell said. “I am proud that the Forest Service could lend a hand and help kick start the holiday season with a bountiful gift to the Gallup community.”