Time to make your ornaments

MEEKER I While the tree that will become the 2012 Capitol Christmas Tree soaks up the Colorado sunshine in the White River National Forest, the humans involved in the project are busy making plans for decorating the tree and celebrating its journey from Colorado to Washington.
Coloradans will be responsible for providing 5,000 handmade ornaments from around the state of Colorado for the Capitol Christmas Tree, as well as 1,000 additional ornaments for the smaller trees that will accompany the official tree and be placed in various agencies and congressional offices around Washington, D.C.
As the theme for this year’s Capitol Christmas Tree is “Celebrating Our Great Outdoors,” the ornaments should reflect in some way all the opportunities that exist to enjoy outdoor activities in Colorado, from ice fishing to four-wheeling to camping, hunting, skiing, backpacking, and more.
School classes, 4-H clubs, scout troops, art councils, civic organizations and all other youth and adult groups and/or individuals are welcome to participate in the ornament campaign. Ornaments must be received by Oct. 5.
There are different requirements for ornaments for the outdoor tree and the indoor trees. For the outdoor tree, ornaments must be:
- 9-12 inches in size and less than 1/2 pound in weight.
- Durable and weatherproof for use outdoors in wet and wintery conditions.
- Make sure that there are appropriate holes in your ornament for hanging.
- Decorated with colorful materials (reflective if possible).
- To minimize environmental impacts, ornament makers are encouraged to use recycled or natural construction materials.
- Decorated on both sides with a large, relatively simple design that can be seen from a distance of 25-70 feet.
For the indoor trees, ornaments should be:
- 3-7 inches in height with appropriate holes for hanging.
- These ornaments will be viewed close up so quality and detail are important.
- To minimize environmental impacts, ornament makers are encouraged to use recycled or natural construction materials.
- Ornaments can’t be returned and are used for one year, so while they should be thoughtfully created, valuable artwork is not appropriate.
For all ornaments, the following criteria apply:
- Ornaments can’t be returned and are used for one year, so while they should be thoughtfully created, valuable artwork is not appropriate.
- Call the Blanco Ranger District at 970-878-6015 before you ship. There are a number of sponsors’ offices around the state that are willing to help transport your creations are no charge!
- We would love to have photos of your group with their ornaments to include in our photo gallery. If you wish, include a labeled CD with photos shipped with your ornaments along with a completed ornament submission form (available from the ornament coordinator).
- Ornaments must be received by the ornament coordinator by Oct. 5.
- No glass, please!
Locally, Mary Cunningham of the Blanco Ranger District is the “ornament coordinator” for the tree. For more information or to obtain an ornament submission form and shipping label, call her at 970-878-6015 or contact her via email at mlcunningham@fs.fed.us.
Meanwhile, the Meeker Chamber of Commerce is open to suggestions from the public for ways to celebrate the arrival of the Capitol Christmas Tree.
“We encourage anyone interested to get involved. Many ideas have been “tossed around” for this event — ranging from a downtown concert to a weeklong “winter festival,” said chamber director Katelin Cook.
There will be a planning meeting on Thursday, April 19 at 9 a.m. at the Forest Service building in Meeker to which all are invited.

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