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LocalThe Capitol Christmas Tree

December 2, 2013

ChristmasMackPhotographer: Garnet Templin-Imel

Since 1923, the Capitol Christmas tree has been a traditional event of Christmas. Each year, a tree is chosen from a National Park somewhere in the U.S. and sent to Washington D.C. to decorate the White House lawn. This year, for the first time, the tree came from Eastern Washington.

The 88-foot tall Engelmann spruce from the Colville National Forest was cut down on November 1, 2013. Two big cranes set the large tree on the bed of a 105-foot-long Mack truck. The tree was carefully wrapped before the truck started its 3,800-mile journey to Washington D.C.

Along the way, the tree made 88 stops in different states. At each stop, people climbed stairs at the back of the truck to peek through glass windows at the giant tree lying on its side. They could see some of the 5,000 ornaments made by the children of Washington State. They could also sign their names on the side of the truck.

It arrived in Washington D.C. on November 25. The Speaker of the House lit the tree in a ceremony on December 3.

This tree is called the People’s Tree. This year, it is a gift from the people of Washington to all the people in the U.S.

Developed by Carmen Li and Xuan Ngo

Photos and interesting stories about the Capitol Christmas Tree on Facebook 

Published December 2013

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