To celebrate the arrival of the 2012 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree in Grand Junction, a variety of events are planned for Thursday, Nov. 8. Festivities will take place in the Cabela's parking lot, located at 2424 US Hwy. 6 & 50, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. "We are honored that this year's Capitol Christmas Tree will make a stop in Grand Junction," City of Grand Junction Mayor Bill Pitts said. "Our city not only gets to be a part of a gift to the nation, but we are also presented with the opportunity to use our event as a platform to promote forest sustainability and encourage use of the great outdoors surrounding our community."Pitts also noted that all Colorado children, including kids in the Grand Valley, are entered into a competition to make decorations for the famous tree. Upon its arrival in Washington, D.C., the tree will be placed on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol and decorated with more than 5,000 handmade ornaments created by Colorado kids entered into the contest. The child with the winning ornament, which hasn't been announced yet, will be invited to Washington, D.C. to light the tree at a ceremony scheduled for early December.
The Capitol Christmas Tree is being harvested today, Nov. 2, in the White River National Forest near Meeker. The tree will then be wrapped and transported to Washington, D.C. on a custom-decorated Mack Pinnacle model truck. On its way, it will stop in many cities and towns across Colorado and the rest of the country.As the Christmas tree makes its scheduled stops, it will also carry a message about sustainable forestry by raising funds for the Forest Restoration Challenge. Those interested in donating can text any dollar amount to 303-502-5858.
• 12 local Patriot Riders will lead the 105-foot truck and trailer carrying the 73-foot Engelmann Spruce• Central High School JROTC Color Guard• Smokey Bear, Santa and Mrs. Claus ride in on a horse-drawn carriage compliments of Absolute Prestige Limousine; be sure to have the little ones bring their list so they can show Santa.• Music performances by Morgan Crouse, Bookcliff Barbershop Chorus and others• Kids ornament decorating table • Apple cider provided by Talbott Farms• Capitol Christmas Tree cookies compliments of City Market • Booths and exhibits on display
According to the Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau, the truck carrying this year's Capitol Christmas Tree will be traveling westbound on Interstate 70 and exiting the interstate at Clifton (Exit 37). The truck will then travel westbound on I-70B to North Avenue (US Highway 6) and continue westbound on I-70B to Cabela's parking lot on the south side of Mesa Mall. There may be temporary traffic interruptions due to the size of the truck."This is huge truck, 105 feet long with a 73-foot tree, making it hard to miss!" said Mistalynn Meyeraan, spokesperson for the GJ Visitor & Convention Bureau. "So even though people may not be able to leave their work, home or school to attend the event, they can see it as it travels through Grand Junction."For more information on the Grand Junction tour stop, visit VisitGrandJunction.com. To track the tree's route, visit www.CapitolChristmasTree2012.com or you can also follow the tree on Facebook (www.facebook.com/CapitolChristmasTree2012).