The 2002 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree was a 70-foot Douglas fir from the Umpqua National Forest in Oregon. This year's tree will come from the Stanislaus National Forest in the Central Sierra Nevada Mountains of California.
The 63-foot tall U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is traveling across the country this fall and will stop in Santa Clarita at the Saugus Speedway and Swap Meet on Saturday, Nov. 12, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The event at the Saugus Speedway will feature a wide variety of community-oriented activities and entertainment including:
* A disc jockey playing holiday-themed music
* A special performance by the Valencia High School Choir
* A variety of food vendors
* Ornament making for kids
* Opportunity to sign a special holiday banner (54 feet x 6 feet) that is on the side of the truck hauling the tree. These banners then are hung up in Washington during some of the festivities on the tree lighting day.
* A Food Drive benefitting Gallup, New Mexico
* Volunteers from the JROTC will be attending and assisting with volunteer services as needed and a special color guard presentation
* Prayer Angels for The Military (local non-profit) will collect pictures of members of the military to be used during their tree lighting ceremony at the Veteran’s Center and accept donations for care packages for troops deployed abroad
* Marine Toys for Tots Toy Drive
* Veteran Employment Committee (VEC) will hold volunteer recruitment and fundraising for annual Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinners for local Veterans and their families.
The U. S. Capitol Christmas Tree 2011 will make frequent stops in communities across the nation on its way to Washington, D. C. The national tour will take 20 days, seven in California and 13 across the country. The tree will be escorted by federal officials and have 24-hour a day Law Enforcement protection. A second full-sized semi-truck will be needed to transport all the ornaments and smaller trees to Washington, D. C.
The caravan will travel more than 4,500 miles. The tree will be transported on an overlength flatbed truck. Placed on its side, it will rest in a custom made cradle that supports the branches, preventing damage and maintaining the tree’s perfect shape. The base of the tree will be fitted with a rubber bladder filled with fresh water nightly. The tree will absorb approximately 60 gallons of water each day throughout its journey to Washington, D.C.
At each stop during the course of the tree’s journey throughout California, residents have a chance to demonstrate how brightly Californians Shine, and to spread the Holiday Spirit by bringing a non-perishable food item to share with those less fortunate. This activity is based on the premise of performing acts of kindness as a remembrance of kindnesses you have received in the past. The Pay It Forward project is a food drive that will be a gift from the people of California to the people of Gallup, New Mexico – one of the poorest communities in the nation.
For more information on the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree tour, visit http://www.capitolchristmastree2011.org.