- The Washington Times - Monday, November 30, 2009

The U.S. Capitol Christmas tree arrived Monday in Washington from the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona.

The tree will stand on the Capitol’s West Lawn and will be decorated with roughly 5,000 ornaments from residents across Arizona. This year’s theme is “Arizona’s Gift From the Grand Canyon State.

The 85-foot-tall blue spruce will be lighted by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during a Dec. 8 twilight ceremony.

“Each year, the arrival of the Capitol Christmas tree kicks off a joyous holiday time,” said Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat. “May ‘the people’s tree’ light the way for blessed and happy holidays.”

The 5 p.m. event will be led by Stephen T. Ayers, acting architect of the Capitol.

The tree and the lighting has been a tradition since 1964. The tree is lighted from nightfall until 11 p.m. through New Year’s Day.

For the fifth year in a row, strands of LED lights will decorate the tree. The lights use little electricity and have a long life span.

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