Written by Jordan Alvillar, Marketing Coordinator for Girl Scouts of Colorado
On Sunday, November 11, I had the opportunity to attend the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree event in Denver. Before I begin to tell you what a fantastic time I had, let me give you a background on this event and why it’s so special:
According to the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree website (www.capitolchristmastree2012.org), for nearly five decades, the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree has been selected from a National Forest to be presented to the American people. Also known as the “People’s Tree”, the tree that is chosen will be placed on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. This year, the tree that was selected came from the White River National Forest from the Blanco Ranger District near Meeker, Colorado. This tree will visit dozens of cities across the country, where the public can make homemade ornaments to send along with the tree and sign the travel banner. This impressive Engelmann Spruce stands at 73 ft. tall and is 74 years old.
The fact that the tree came from a Colorado national forest was what made this event so meaningful for me. Though I’m always proud to be a Colorado native, this event really made it stick. Let’s be honest: Colorado has had a rough year. Between the summer fires and other devastating events, it has been a somber time for many. What an honor it is for our state to provide the American people with such a beautiful gift! While at this event, I was bombarded with a many emotions: pride, honor and thankfulness.
A wonderful time was had by many! I watched as Girl Scouts and other children participated in making ornaments for the tree depicting this year’s theme, ‘Celebrating Our Great Outdoors.’ Youth age 5-19 who submit ornaments could be entered to win a trip to Washington, D.C. to light the tree with House Speaker John Boehner in early December. The public were invited to visit multiple booths at the event, which included donations stations for Hurricane Sandy victims and Toys for Tots. I also beamed with pride while Girl Scout troops passed out hot chocolate, Girl Scout cookies and led in the Pledge of Allegiance. Among special guests were Governor John Hickenlooper, U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, U.S. Senator Mark Udall and Miss Colorado Hannah Porter. I would also like to add that I got to catch up with Santa Claus and Smokey the Bear!
Even with such a difficult year behind us, the citizens of Colorado never cease to amaze me. Whether it’s donating time to a cause or someone in need, Coloradans really know how to show they care. The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree event was a fantastic way to show Colorado pride and look forward to the better things ahead while also remembering our struggles this past year.
Take a look at our Flickr album to see what else went on at the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree event in Denver!