U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree arrives at the West Front
November 25th, 2013
01:21 PM ET
1 year ago

U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree arrives at the West Front

Washington (CNN) - An evergreen from Washington state is now in Washington, D.C. as workers prepare it to become the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree.

House Speaker John Boehner will preside over the illumination the evening of December 3.

The 79-year-old Engelmann spruce was selected in August, and for the past few weeks has been on a 5,000 mile goodwill trip from Colville National Forest, stopping at more than two dozen points along the way from the Pacific Northwest.

Finally, Monday morning, with a police escort, a tractor-trailer 103 feet long started up from an overnight parking space on the National Mall and made its way to the edge of the Capitol lawn as cameras covered the arrival.

A large construction crane was parked on the lawn itself to hoist and then move the 88-foot tree from the flatbed trailer to its display location at the West Front.

The tree will be decorated with about 10,000 lights and thousands of handcrafted ornaments from the people of Washington state.

Public donations and corporate sponsorships have covered about $400,000 of the expense, says Jeff Olson, president of "Choose Outdoors," a non-profit group that encourages people to enjoy public lands and other outside recreation.

Olson's group helped organize the fundraising to bring the tree to the U.S. Capitol, including Mack Truck's donation of two, brand-new, 18-wheelers. Alaska Airlines donated tickets to get the transport crews home to Washington State.

Riding along in the big rig for part of the way, Olson said the CB-radio brought "lots of comments about how much this is costing us as taxpayers," including some unkind speculation about certain politicians.

"So it's great, when you hear that, and you're able to respond 'this is paid for by the private sector,'" Olson said.


Filed under: Capitol • Capitol Hill • Washington State
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Illumination and John Boehner shouldn't be mentioned in the same sentence. He's not bright at all.

    November 25, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  2. Silence DoGood

    "John Boehner will preside over the illumination" of the White House Christmas tree. Is this part of the War on Christmas I have been hearing so much about?

    November 25, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  3. Donna

    "CHRISTMAS" tree??? OMG!!! Let the lawsuits from the looney left start... Their agenda of making America devoid of any religious references must never be stopped.

    November 25, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  4. Tampa Tim

    But Fox said there was a war on Christmas. Did they lie again?

    November 25, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  5. just asking

    Silence DoGood
    "John Boehner will preside over the illumination" of the White House Christmas tree.
    --

    no, the capital christmas tree. please try to keep up.

    November 25, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  6. Silence DoGood

    I think we need a "best of conservative myths" – please add your favorite. So far mine are:
    – War on Christmas/Christians
    – Death Panels
    – Birth Certificate
    – No Climate Change
    – Corporations will take care of us and do the right thing
    – A woman's body has a way of "shutting down" after an assault

    November 25, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  7. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    In FL, our local radio station started Christmas music three weeks ago. It must have been a result of the right wing nut machine reporting that there is a war on Christmas.

    November 25, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  8. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Donna
    "CHRISTMAS" tree??? OMG!!! Let the lawsuits from the looney left start... Their agenda of making America devoid of any religious references must never be stopped.
    ----------------------------------------------
    And you probably believe Jesus was actually born on December 25th.

    November 25, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Cue right wing complaints about spending and wasting taxpayer dollars in 3, 2, 1, 0,, ... ... ... Nothing? Anyone?

    November 25, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  10. Investment Advisor

    I believe this tree ( from Washington State) has more integrity ( and probably more brains) than our two useless senators, Murray and Cantwell. In fact, they would be more useful as Christmas decorations than representatives of our state.

    November 25, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Here are mine Silence DoGood:
    I was hiking the Appalachian Trail.....
    Obama's giving out free cell phones....
    We're going to win the 2012 Presidential election...

    November 25, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  12. Malory Archer

    Donna

    "CHRISTMAS" tree??? OMG!!! Let the lawsuits from the looney left start... Their agenda of making America devoid of any religious references must never be stopped.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Donna, contratry to what the reichwing echo chamber tells you, there's no "war" on Christmas or christianity.

    November 25, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  13. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    Investment – Worthless senators? We got you beat with Rubio, but that is not as bad as Cornyn and Cruz.

    November 25, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  14. Lynda/Minnesota

    "And you probably believe Jesus was actually born on December 25th."

    Yeah, Dutch. And no doubt GOPers also believe Baby Jesus was born under a pine tree ... hence the term "Christmas" tree.

    November 25, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    Wire Palladin, S.F.

    In FL, our local radio station started Christmas music three weeks ago. It must have been a result of the right wing nut machine reporting that there is a war on Christmas.
    ----------------------------
    Just as long as they don't play "The Chipmunks" more than once per hour, then I could tolerate it.

    November 25, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  16. Thomas

    Why do Conservatives hate real Christmas Tree's ?

    November 25, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  17. rs

    House Speaker John Boehner will preside over the illumination the evening of December 3.
    ________________________
    And as per TEA Party norms, he'll simply burn it down.

    November 25, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  18. Woman In California

    John Boehner and Christmas don't go together. In fact, if it were up to him and his gang of troublemakers there would be no Christmas for anyone making less than $200,000 a year so please, keep him out of holiday news.

    November 25, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  19. wendel

    the looney right will find something to complain about. This must tie into healthcare some how. Just wait they will come up with something.

    November 25, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  20. Data Driven

    @Rudy,

    "Just as long as they don't play "The Chipmunks" more than once per hour, then I could tolerate it."

    Ha ha! My own Christmas music bete noire is "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer". Not funny in the late 70s, not funny now.

    November 25, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  21. just saying

    it is very nice to know that even the godless, souless depsicable left wingers that constantly attack religion and the people that believe, will still be welcome to the lighting of the christmas tree. may the light shine bright into the darkness that inhabits their souls.

    November 25, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    House Speaker John Boehner will preside over the illumination the evening of December 3.
    ---------------------
    That would be a week from tomorrow. At nearly 90 feet, that tree is huge. Some poor souls are going to be doing a heap of light stringing over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. I hope they get paid an overtime rate for their sure to be frigid efforts.

    November 25, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Data Driven wrote:

    Ha ha! My own Christmas music bete noire is "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer". Not funny in the late 70s, not funny now.
    ------------------
    I like that one. The worst one of all has to be the dogs barking out "Jingle Bells" from the "Lawrence Welk Show" or somewheres.

    November 25, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  24. The Real Tom Paine

    -just saying

    it is very nice to know that even the godless, souless depsicable left wingers that constantly attack religion and the people that believe, will still be welcome to the lighting of the christmas tree. may the light shine bright into the darkness that inhabits their souls
    ****************************
    You would have hated Jesus as a troublemaker, I'm sure. If there is anyone on here that embodies the Pharisees in word and deeds, it the Right wing and the GOP.

    November 25, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  25. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Lynda/Minnesota

    "And you probably believe Jesus was actually born on December 25th."

    Yeah, Dutch. And no doubt GOPers also believe Baby Jesus was born under a pine tree ... hence the term "Christmas" tree.
    -------------------------------------------------
    LOL!!
    I'm waiting for somebody to creatively tie in Santa Claus bearing the gifts!
    An early and very Happy Thanksgiving to you guys and the rest of our gang

    November 25, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
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