Capitol Tree celebrations

The donated and decorated Mack truck that will be used to haul the 2012 Capitol Christmas Tree to Washington, D.C., arrived in Meeker last Friday. The tree will be cut Nov. 2 and driven to Meeker for viewing and a parade of lights Nov. 3.

MEEKER I The excitement continues to build as preparations are made to cut, wrap and deliver Colorado’s gift to the nation, the 2012 Capitol Christmas Tree, and everyone in Rio Blanco County is invited to take part in the celebration Nov. 3.
Since it was announced last December that the 2012 Capitol Christmas Tree would be coming from the White River National Forest, more specifically from the Blanco Ranger District, planning and preparations began for the honor of providing the Christmas tree to our nation’s capitol.
More than 5,000 ornaments were created by Coloradans — mostly by kids from across the state — to decorate the 73-foot tree, which will be placed outside the Capitol building and lit by Speaker of the House John Boehner and a special ornament creator in December.
Since 1970, it has been an honored tradition for the Capitol Christmas Tree to come from a National Forest and Ken Coffin, district ranger for the Blanco District, and his staff are honored and excited that the Capitol Christmas Tree is coming from the White River National Forest.
“It’s such a great opportunity to bring some notoriety to this part of Colorado,” Coffin was quoted as saying at the announcement made in Denver last December.
Since that time, Coffin and his staff joined forces with non-profit partner “Choose Outdoors” to gather ornaments, raise funds for the project, pick and protect the right tree, plan its harvest and prepare for a town celebration for locals to view the gift they are giving to the people of the United States of America and to promote the theme “Celebrating Our Great Outdoors.”
The tree’s location will be announced at the end of the month and the tree will be cut on Friday, Nov. 2. The ERBM Recreation and Parks District and the Meeker Chamber of Commerce will provide transportation by van from town to the site where the tree will be cut at 10 a.m. The tree will then be loaded and secured onto a trailer and driven down RBC Road 8 (Colorado Flattops Scenic Byway), arriving and parking on Fifth Street in Meeker at 4 p.m.
Locals can sign a tree banner and Santa Claus will be on site and available for photos until 7 p.m.
Local businesses and non-profits are invited to the street fair Nov. 3, from 2–7 p.m. Other activities include a 5K race and music. Ute dancers and drummers will perform at 4 p.m., with speeches and presentations to start at 5:30 p.m. before the Parade of Lights at 7 p.m.
The tree will be wrapped Nov. 4-5 and depart Meeker Nov. 6 at 7 a.m., when the 30-day, 30-city tour to deliver our present begins across the eastern United States.

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