MEEKER - Citizens of Meeker and visitors will help kick off festivities for the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree on Friday, Nov. 2. The Meeker Chamber of Commerce, White River National Forest and nonprofit partner, Choose Outdoors, have planned a two-day celebration.
The tree, a 73-foot Engelmann Spruce on the Blanco Ranger District of the White River National Forest, will be harvested approximately 40 miles east of Meeker on Rio Blanco County Road 8 on a site used by special use permit holder Ripple Creek Lodge.
The tree is schedule to arrive in downtown Meeker around 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 2. Everyone is invited to greet the tree, join the mayor's reception, hear the Meeker Elementary School fifth-grade students sing patriotic songs, visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and sign the banner on the truck that will haul the tree across the country on its way to Washington, D.C.
Festivities continue in downtown Meeker on Saturday, Nov. 3. The celebration begins at 2 p.m. Kids can enjoy a bounce house, stilt walker show, and warm themselves by the fire pits. Events include:
• 2 p.m.: Free "5K Capitol Christmas Tree Trot" walking and running race.
• 2 - 5 p.m.: tree banner available for signing.
• 2 - 7 p.m.: Street fair.
• 4 p.m.: Chipeta Lake Drummers and Southern Ute Cultural Center Dancers, traditional dance demonstration.
• 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.: Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
• 5:30 p.m.: The tree will be presented by the U.S. Forest Service and government dignitaries.
• 6:30 p.m.: The "Seussical Jr." singers will perform several songs.
• 7 p.m.: Parade of Lights with a fireworks show immediately following.
For more information, contact the Meeker Chamber of Commerce at 878-5510 or online at www.meekerchamber.com, or the Meeker Recreation Center at 878-3403.
The community is invited to participate in the program and give back this holiday season by donating to Toys for Tots, and supporting the Forest Reforestation Challenge to raise awareness and funds for Colorado's fire-impacted forests.