Capitol Christmas Tree reaches Washington after long journey
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 25, 2013 - Ending its approximate 5,000-mile trek across the country, the Capitol Christmas Tree arrived in Washington, D.C. today.
The 88-foot tall and 79-year-old Engelmann Spruce, which was put into place on the Capitol's west lawn, will be coated with about 10,000 lights as well as thousands of hand-made ornaments from children across the nation.
A tree lighting ceremony is scheduled for 5 p.m. Dec. 3, with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, doing the honors.
Atop a donated tractor-trailer from Mack Trucks, the tree traveled from Washington state and made many stops along the way. Several donations helped to cover the cost of transporting the tree across the country.
The tree will be lit from dusk until 11 p.m. each evening through the holiday season. The Office of the Architect of the Capitol said the tree will be decorated with strands of light emitting diodes (LED) lights will be used to decorate the entire tree. LED lights use little electricity, have an extremely long life-span, and are environmentally friendly.
Meanwhile, the National Christmas Tree, which is on the grounds of the White House, will be lit Dec. 6. The National Tree is, according to the National Park Service, dates back to 1923 under President Coolidge and has gone by different names over the years and includes a series of living and cut trees.
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