Capitol Christmas Tree Lit on Capitol Grounds - NBC4 Washington

Capitol Christmas Tree Lit on Capitol Grounds



    The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree was illuminated Tuesday night after a 2,000-mile journey from Idaho to Washington, D.C.

    House Speaker Paul Ryan and an Idaho fifth-grader lit the tree during a ceremony on the West Front Lawn that began at 5 p.m.

    The tree, an Engelmann Spruce about the size of two Metrobuses stacked on top of each other, was harvested from the Payette National Forest near McCall, Idaho. 

    "The Capitol Christmas Tree brings with it a spirit of community, and the start of the season of generosity and cheer," Ryan said in a November press release.

    Isabella Gerard, a young student from Boise, was randomly selected to help Ryan light the tree.

    The 80-foot tree is sponsored by the Idaho Congressional Delegation led by U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo.

    "Along with Isabella, who will help light the tree, and handmade ornaments from communities across the state, the people of Idaho will collectively help usher in a holiday season of goodwill in our nation's capital," Crapo said in the November release.

    The annual lighting of the Capitol Christmas Tree has been a tradition for more than 50 years. The tree will be lit nightly through Christmas, from dusk until 11 p.m.