Here comes the “People’s Tree”

Everyone is getting in on the preparation for Christmas 2012.  Just this week the tree the 2012 Capitol Christmas tree was harvested and began the journey to Washington, DC.  It’s fitting that the “People’s Tree” began it’s journey to our nation’s capitol at the same time all Americans headed to the polls for election day.  The tree travels in a specially constructed truck and trailer combination that serves as a display and transport for the huge tree.  Traveling with the main tree are other smaller trees that will be used to decorate many federal buildings in the nation’s capitol.  Ornaments from the home state will cover all the trees.  This year’s trees will be lit in DC on November 26.  The young man lighting the tree with Speaker of the House, John Boehner, won a drawing among the thousands of children who provided ornaments for this year’s tree.

The 2012 Capitol Christmas Tree is a 73-foot Engelmann Spruce from the White River National Forest in Colorado.  The tree is 74 years old and measures 28 inches in diameter.  The tree will travel in a specialized truck on a national tour to DC.  It makes a number of stops in Colorado before moving through New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and finally DC.  The tree will be placed on the west lawn of the Capitol Building and covered with 5,000 ornaments decorated by children from Colorado.  All ornaments for the tree had to fit in the theme “Celebrating Our Great Outdoors”.  It will be lit nightly at dusk and stay lit until 11:00 PM.  The tradition of the tree began with the first Capitol Tree in 1964.  Since 1970 the National Forest Service has provided the tree.  The last time the tree came from Maryland was in 1978 was a Norway Spruce from the Savage River State Forest.

This tree is definitely like no other before.  It has its own pages on Facebook and Twitter!  ( and can follow an interactive map to track the path of the tree on its journey east.  You can purchase memorabilia and the official ornament for this year’s tree.  Check out every detail and more on the official website: Capitol Christmas 2012.

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