Capitol Christmas tree to be displayed at academy

Special to The Tribune
Posted

The U.S. Forest Service, with help from their nonprofit partner, Choose Outdoors will bring the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree to Colorado Springs on Nov. 11. The 73-foot tree will be at the United States Air Force Academy's Falcon stadium parking lot from 8:00-10:00 a.m.

The public is encouraged to dress in holiday ensemble and join in a group photo with the tree at 9:00 a.m. Santa and Mrs. Claus will also be traveling with the tree so be sure to have the little ones bring their list. Kum & Go, which recently opened a new store near the stadium, will provide free refreshments to those in attendance.

On Nov. 2, the 2012 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree will be harvested in the White River National Forest, near Meeker, CO. The tree will then be wrapped and transported to Washington, D.C. on a custom-decorated Mack Pinnacle model truck driven by former Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell.

The Colorado Springs stop will be one of many along the tree's 23-day tour across 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. In addition, new and unwrapped toy donations will be accepted through Toys for Tots for underprivileged children this holiday season.

“Colorado Springs welcomes this festive and celebratory tour of the Capitol Christmas Tree. As the proud home of the U.S. Air Force Academy, it is the ideal backdrop for a tree that will grace the lawn of the Whitehouse for all to enjoy during the holidays. We are humbled to be involved with this gift to our entire country and are pleased to have the opportunity to give back to both our communities and forests during our Nov. 11 event,” Colorado Springs Visitors Bureau CEO & President Doug Price, said.

Bruce Ward, founder of Choose Outdoors added, “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.”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.” In early December a tree lighting ceremony will take place and will be available for public viewing throughout the holiday season.

Costs associated with the tree's transportation and tour events are covered 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, Twitter and Pinterest. Those attending the event must enter through the North Gate of the U.S. Air Force Academy.