The official U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is currently making its way down from the Sierra, into Sacramento before heading across California and the rest of the country on a 23-day tour. The tree will make various stops in Northern California.
The 65-foot-tall white fir was chopped from the Stanislaus National Forest over the weekend, and then made a stop in Sonora to the delight of dozens of people who lined the streets to see it. This is the 4th time since the U.S. Capitol started having a tree in 1964 that “The People’s Tree” will come from California.
Before being erected in front of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., the specially-wrapped tree will make stops in cities and military bases around California, then into New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, North Carolina, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
The US Capitol Christmas Tree as it is being loaded onto a specially designed Mack Truck for transport across the country. Courtesy: Jeff Crider
In Northern California, the tree is scheduled to be in Manteca Tuesday, then in Sacramento on Wednesday at the State Capitol, Modesto on Thursday and Fresno on Friday at their Veterans Day Parade.
There is a 54-foot waterproof wrapper on the tree that people can sign, like a big holiday card.
The tree’s transportation is largely being funded by donations from the business community, and managed by the U.S. Forest Service. Another business has donated GPS tracking equipment so people can travel along with the white fir on its cross-country trip.
The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree as it made its way through Sonora on Saturday afternoon enroute to the Mother Lode Fairgrounds. Courtesy: Jeff Crider
Once the tree arrives in Washington, D.C. on November 28th, it will be illuminated with 10,000 lights and nearly 3,000 handmade ornaments. The official lighting ceremony will be on Tuesday, December 6th. Seven-year-old Johnny Crawford from Sonora will throw the switch.
To follow the tree, or for more information on the stops and locations, head to www.capitolchristmastree2011.org.