A Capitol Christmas Tree has been an American tradition since 1964. The first tree was a live 24-foot Douglas fir planted on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The original Capitol Christmas Tree died after the 1968 tree lighting ceremony due to a severe wind storm and root damage. The tree was removed and the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service has provided the trees since 1969. The 2013 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree will be harvested from the Colville National Forest in northeast Washington State.
The Capitol Christmas Tree should not to be confused with the National Christmas Tree, which is planted near the White House and lighted every year by the president and first lady. The Speaker of the House officially lights the Capitol Christmas Tree.
See Photos of the Capitol Christmas Tree
Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting CeremonyThe tree will be lit by Speaker of the House John Boehner. Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers, AIA, LEED AP, will serve as master of ceremonies.
Date: December 3, 2013, 5:00 p.m.
Location: West Lawn of the U. S. Capitol, Constitution and Independence Avenues, Washington, DC. Access for the lighting ceremony will be from First Street and Maryland Avenue SW and First Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, where guests will proceed through security.
Parking near the U. S. Capitol Building is restricted. The best way to get to the area is by metro. The closest stops are located at Union Station, Federal Center S.W. or Capitol South.
Following the lighting ceremony, the Capitol Christmas Tree will be lit from dusk until 11 p.m. each evening through the holiday season. As part of the Architect of the Capitol’s continuing commitment to save energy, strands of LED (Light Emitting Diodes) lights will be used to decorate the entire tree. LED lights use little electricity, have an extremely long life-span, and are environmentally friendly.
See more about Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia