/ The DC Traveler
Washington DC — By Jon Rochetti on December 8, 2009 at 5:19 am

Lighting The Capitol Christmas Tree Tonight

In case you are a bit behind on your holiday decorating, don’t feel bad.  On Sunday, the Capitol Christmas Tree, on the west lawn of the Capitol Building was still in the process of being decorated…with boxes and boxes of ornaments – 6,000 ornaments in total.  And the Christmas tree lighting ceremony is tonight.

Capitol_Christmas_Tree_Washington_DCI’ve always thought that the Capitol Tree and the Christmas tree inside the US Botanic Garden across from the Capitol Building are both much prettier than the National Christmas Tree adjacent to the White House.  So this is one worth visiting.

This year’s Capitol Christmas Tree, an 85-foot Blue Spruce came from a central Arizona National Park and is decorated with close to 6,000 handmade ornaments from Arizona school children.  The tree was cut in early November and first put on display at the Arizona state capitol before being transported to DC on a truck burning environmentally-friendly biodiesel.

Each year, the name of one student who submitted an ornament from the state sending the tree is drawn by the Governor and selected to visit Washington, DC and light the Capitol Christmas Tree along with the Speaker of the House.  This year, a 7th grader, Kaitlyn Ferencik, will be traveling with her parents and teacher to DC for the honors. 

Capitol_Christmas_Tree_Assembly_Washington_DCAs every year, live holiday music will accompany the ceremony by The President’s Own US Marine Band with Christmas carols sung by the Congressional Chorus , a group of current and former House and Senate singing staffers.

2009 Capitol Christmas Tree
US Capitol Building west grounds
1 1st Street, NE
Between Constitution & Independence Aves.
Washington, DC  (map it)

Dates and Times – Lighting ceremony – December 8, 2009 at 5:00 p.m.  The tree is outdoors and open for public viewing daily through the first of the year.  The tree is illuminated from sunset until 11:00 p.m. daily.

Admission & Tickets – FREE, no tickets are required for the lighting ceremony or to view the tree. 

Nearest Metro Subway Station – Federal Center SW – Blue and Orange line, then a 5-block walk or use the DC Circulator bus.  The Union Station and Judiciary Square metro stations, both on the Red line, are both about ¾ mile walk as well.

Parking – Limited street parking is available in the area.  Check for limited 2-hour parking limitations in residential areas during Federal working hours.

Images – from personal collection – ©2008, Jon Rochetti

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