As Washingtonians return to work Monday after the Thanksgiving break, they will be greeted by a 63-foot reminder that the next holiday is just around the corner – the Capitol Christmas tree.
The gigantic Sierra white fir from California’s Stanislaus National Forest is expected to arrive in DC on Monday morning, following a 20-day tour across the country. The tree will be erected this week on the West Lawn of the Capitol building, and decorated with more than 10,000 LED lights and some 2,000 handmade ornaments.
The lighting ceremony for the 47th Capitol Christmas tree will take place at 5 p.m. Dec. 6, led by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). The tree will be lit up until 11 p.m. every night through Jan. 1.
“This year’s Capitol Christmas Tree, coming from Northern California’s national forests, will stand as a symbol of strength and comfort during the season of peace and good will,” Boehner said.
According to the Architect of the Capitol, the Capitol Christmas Tree has been a Washington tradition since 1964. This year’s theme, “California Shines,” is intended to highlight the state’s “rich cultural and ecological diversity.”
Another 19-foot fir will also arrive in Washington on Monday – the tree will be set up in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian after being blessed by the Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians in a Dec. 5 ceremony.
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