The 65-foot tall Capitol Christmas tree is passing over the river and through the woods, to Washington D.C. it goes.
The driver knows the way to carry the tree through white and drifted snow, as the tree travels through nine states on its 20 day, 4,500 mile trip from California to the nation’s capital.
“For the next couple of months, this majestic white fir from the Stanislaus National Forest will be one of the most photographed trees in the world,” said Maria Benech, U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree coordinator on the US Department of Agriculture website.
The Capitol Christmas tree is a U.S. yuletide tradition, but this is the first year the tree was blessed by a Native American. On Nov. 5, an elder from the Tuolumne Band of Me-wuk tribe blessed the tree shortly before it was harvested and loaded on a flatbed truck.
The tree will make 23 stops as it heads west though New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Indiana, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. It will arrive in Washington on Nov. 28.
You can follow the traveling tree’s trek across the country here: Track the Tree
After arrival the tree will be raised on the west lawn of the Capitol building and decorated with ornaments handmade by Californians.
On Dec. 6, Speaker of the House John Boehner will light the tree, along with Johnny Crawford, a 7-year-old from Sonora, Calif., who’s name was drawn for the event.
The ceremony will also include Californian singers Kate Wallace and Annie J. Dahlgren performing their original song “Peace, Peace, Peace.”
The U.S. Capitol Christmas tree art competition winner, a photo of Yosemite National Park’s Half-Dome covered in snow with pine trees in the foreground by Californian Marc Davis titled “Granite Ablaze,” will then be installed in the D.C. office of the U.S. Forest Service.
The 65-foot white fir that will be this year’s Capitol Christmas Tree is loaded onto its flatbed truck by two cranes after being harvested Nov. 5 (National Forest Service)
The Capitol Christmas Tree, 2008 (Christopher Ziemnowicz, Wikimedia Commons)