A Capitol Celebration

A Capitol Celebration
A Capitol Celebration
A Capitol Celebration
A Capitol Celebration
Mo McElroy with the nonprofit Choose Outdoors sells ornaments to raise funds to send the winner of the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree essay contest to the tree lighting.

Mo McElroy with the nonprofit Choose Outdoors sells ornaments to raise funds to send the winner of the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree essay contest to the tree lighting.

Santa gives a fist bump to a child during his visit to White’s Travel Center Saturday afternoon.

Santa gives a fist bump to a child during his visit to White’s Travel Center Saturday afternoon.

Emma and Evan McIntire show off the tree ornaments they had just finished decorating.

Emma and Evan McIntire show off the tree ornaments they had just finished decorating.

AT LEFT, Taylor Huffman gets a lift to sign the banner. ABOVE, members of several local church choirs sing Christmas songs inside White’s Travel Center. The Riverheads band also performed indoors as well.

AT LEFT, Taylor Huffman gets a lift to sign the banner. ABOVE, members of several local church choirs sing Christmas songs inside White’s Travel Center. The Riverheads band also performed indoors as well.

Those attending Saturday’s festivities were given free cookies and hot apple cider.

Those attending Saturday’s festivities were given free cookies and hot apple cider.

A Capitol Celebration

A rainy day did not deter a large crowd from coming out to White’s Travel Center in Raphine Saturday afternoon to see the 60-foot U.S. Capitol Christmas tree and participate in the festivities. The truck carrying the tree made its final stop in Raphine during its cross-country journey from Carson National Forest in Utah to Washington, D.C. The tree weighs 9,200 pounds and was 68 years old. ABOVE, members of the River-heads High School band help welcome the truck carrying the tree, which had arrived moments earlier (below). Only the top portion of the tree could be seen (in background at far right in above photo and at left). Residents had the opportunity to sign the banner on the outside of the trailer or on the window in the rear (as seen at left). AT LEFT BELOW, Richardo Leon of the U.S. Forest Service talks about caring for the tree on its long journey. (all photos by Stephanie Mikels Blevins)

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