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Capitol Christmas tree is on its way

Posted: Saturday, Nov 3rd, 2012

The 73-foot Engelmann Spruce that will serve as the capitol Christmas tree this year is harvested on Friday near Meeker. It will make its way to Alamosa by next Saturday, Nov. 10, when local residents are invited to celebrate its arrival. It will then continue its trek to Washington, D.C. Courtesy photo

ALAMOSA — On Saturday, November 10, the U.S. Forest Service with help from their nonprofit partner, Choose Outdoors will be bringing the US Capitol Christmas Tree (www.CapitolChristmasTree2012.com) to Alamosa, and invites all people young and old to come celebrate this annual holiday tradition.

On November 2, the 2012 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree was harvested in the White River National Forest, near Meeker. The 73-foot Engelmann Spruce will then transported to Washington, D.C. on a custom-decorated Mack Pinnacle model truck which will be driven by former U.S. Senator, Ben Nighthorse Campbell.

The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree will to be on display at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, November 10, in downtown Alamosa. This stop will be one of many along the tree’s 23-day tour across Colorado and the country on its way to the nation’s capital. All festivities with the tree are open to the public and free for all to enjoy.

As the tree travels the country, it will carry a message about sustainable forestry as well as invite people to assist with raising funds for the Forest Restoration Challenge. This challenge was set up to help areas impacted by the massive wildfires which devastated areas near Colorado Springs and Fort Collins in the spring of 2012. Those interested in donating can text any dollar amount to 303-502-5858. Donors will then be asked for some basic information to complete the donation. In addition, Toys for Tots will be accepting donations of toys.

Festivities being held while the tree is in town will include a Welcome of the Capitol Christmas Tree by Mayor Kathy Rogers, entertainment, and photo opportunities. Plan to spend the entire day downtown enjoying pre-Christmas excitement with local stores and restaurants.

Alamosa Mayor Kathy Rogers commented, “We are honored to have been chosen as a stop for the Capitol Christmas Tree as it makes its way to the White House! On November 10, we likely have a once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of sending such a gift to our Nation’s Capitol. We hope to have a lot of people come out to help celebrate this momentous occasion!”

Special events and opportunities to view the tree are being planned in every stop across the country. Santa and Mrs. Claus will also be traveling with the tree so be sure to have the little ones bring their lists so they can show Santa.

“We’re working with city officials and volunteers across the country to make the 2012 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree tour an unforgettable experience of both giving back and celebrating the holiday season,” said Bruce Ward, founder of Choose Outdoors.

Upon arrival in Washington, D.C., the tree will be placed on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol and decorated with more than 5,000 ornaments handmade by Colorado children depicting the tree’s theme, “Celebrating the Great Outdoors.” Senator Mark Udall will lead the official lighting of the tree at the U.S. Capitol on Dec. 4. The tree will be available for public viewing throughout the holiday season.

Costs associated with the tree’s transportation and tour events are made possible by contributions by individuals, corporations and local communities. Major sponsors include the Colorado Tourism Office, Mack Trucks and The National Association of Convenience Stores.

To track the tree’s route, visit www.CapitolChristmasTree2012.com or follow the tree on Facebook (www.facebook.com/CapitolChristmasTree2012), Twitter (www.twitter.com/CapitolTree2012) and Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/capitoltree2012)

About Choose Outdoors:

Choose Outdoors is a coalition for outdoor recreation comprised of people and organizations who are passionate about outdoor recreation, support public lands, waters, and the agencies charged with their care. www.chooseoutdoors.org

About the White River National Forest:

The 2.3 million acre White River National Forest is located in west/central Colorado. Providing a vast array of outdoor recreation experiences, the White River hosts more than 9 million visitors per year and is the number one forest for recreation in the country. In addition to world-class recreation and abundant wildlife populations, the White River supports activities such as grazing, timber harvest, mining, and oil and gas development that are crucial to the economies of western Colorado. www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver


2012 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Tour


Colorado Stops:

November 6 – Rangely-Steamboat Springs

November 7 – Dillon – Glenwood Springs

November 8 – Grand Junction – Montrose

November 9 – Cortez – Durango

November 10 – Pagosa – Alamosa

November 11 – Colorado Springs – Denver

November 12 – Greeley – LaJunta


National Tour

Nov. 13:  Albuquerque, NM

Nov. 14:  Amarillo, Texas

Nov. 15:  Dallas, Texas

Nov. 16:  Oklahoma City, Okla.

Nov. 17:  Kansas City, Mo.

Nov. 18:  St. Louis, Mo.

Nov. 19:  Nashville, Tenn.

Nov. 20:  Atlanta, Ga.

Nov. 21:  Asheville, NC

Nov. 22:  Charlotte, NC

Nov. 23:  Staunton, Va.

Nov. 24:  Allentown and Milford, Pa.

Nov. 25:  Joint Base Andrews, Md.

Nov. 26:  U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C.

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