12:24pm

Sat November 3, 2012
Arts & Culture

Colorado Provides Capitol Christmas Tree

A 73 foot, 74 year old Engelmann Spruce from Colorado is heading to the U.S. Capitol for Christmas. The tree was cut Friday from the Ripple Creek Lodge about 40 miles east of Meeker on the western slope.

This will be the third time Colorado has provided the Capitol Christmas Tree since the tradition began.

Colorado also provided an Engelmann Spruce in 1990 from the Routt National Forest. In 2000,  a Colorado Blue Spruce was provided from Pike National Forest.

2012 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree tour in Colorado

  • Nov. 3: Meeker
  • Nov. 6: Rangely – Craig - Steamboat Springs
  • Nov. 7: Dillion - Glenwood Springs
  • Nov. 8: Grand Junction - Montrose
  • Nov. 9: Cortez – Durango
  • Nov. 10: Pagosa – Alamosa
  • Nov. 11: Colorado Springs – Denver
  • Nov. 12: Greeley – Lajunta

The 2011 Capitol Christmas Tree. A 63 foot Sierra White Fir from the Stanislaus National Forest in California. The Christmas tree is adorned with about 3,000 ornaments, all homemade by California residents.
Credit USDA / Flickr

This year's Capitol Christmas Tree will display more than 5,000 ornaments handmade by Colorado residents.

A 28-city national tour is scheduled. The official tree lighting ceremony in Washington D.C. is scheduled for Dec. 6. After the lighting ceremony, the Capitol Christmas Tree will be lit nightly from dusk to 11 p.m. throughout the holiday season.

History of the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

In 1970, the Capitol Architect asked the U.S. Forest Service to provide this Christmas tree. Since then, a different National Forest is chosen each year to provide The People’s Tree. This national forest also works with state forests to provide ‘Companion Trees’, or smaller Christmas trees for offices around the capital.

There's also an official song of the 2012 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. Lindsay Lawler of Nashville, Tenn. won this year’s national songwriting contest with Standing Tall. Lawler will receive a grand prize of $2,500 and her song with be featured at the reception immediately preceding the tree lighting ceremony on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building.

But you can hear it now by clicking below.

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