The 2012 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree was lit by Speaker of the House John Boehner during a ceremony on Tuesday, December 4, on the Capitol’s West Front lawn beginning at 5 p.m. Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers, FAIA, LEED AP, served as master of ceremonies.
This year’s tree — a 65-foot Engelmann spruce — is from the Blanco Ranger District of the White River National Forest in Colorado. It was harvested on November 2, and is currently traveling from Colorado across the country; making stops in 28 communities along the way. After it arrives at the U.S. Capitol and is secured in the ground, the tree will be decorated with approximately 5,000 ornaments, handcrafted by Coloradans to reflect this year’s theme, “Celebrating our Great Outdoors.”
The Capitol Christmas Tree has been a tradition at the U.S. Capitol since 1964. The tree is lit from night fall until 11 p.m. each evening through December 26, 2012.