The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree will arrive at the West Front of the Capitol along First Street, NW, at 10 a.m. on Monday, November 26, 2012.
This year’s tree — a 65-foot Engelmann spruce — is from the Blanco Ranger District of the White River National Forest in Colorado. It was harvested on November 2, and is currently traveling from Colorado across the country; making stops in 28 communities along the way. After it arrives at the U.S. Capitol and is secured in the ground, the tree will be decorated with approximately 5,000 ornaments, handcrafted by Coloradans to reflect this year’s theme, “Celebrating our Great Outdoors.”
The tree will be lit by Speaker of the House John Boehner during a ceremony on Tuesday, December 4, on the Capitol’s West Front lawn beginning at 5 p.m. Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers, FAIA, LEED AP, will serve as master of ceremonies.
“The arrival and lighting of the Capitol Christmas Tree, sure to include visitors from the world over, will help kick off our celebration of the season of peace and joy. We will be delighted to have this spruce from the heart of the Rocky Mountains stand at the heart of our nation’s capital,” said Speaker Boehner.
“Our Capitol Grounds crew does a wonderful job of decorating the Capitol Christmas tree every year, and we are honored to take on this responsibility for the 48th time. I always look forward to the arrival of the Christmas tree on the West Front of the Capitol as it signals that the holiday season has begun,” said Ayers.
The Capitol Christmas Tree has been a tradition at the U.S. Capitol since 1964. The tree will be lit from night fall until 11 p.m. each evening through December 26, 2012.