The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree was lit in a special ceremony attended by hundreds of people Wednesday evening (Dec. 2) on the Capitol’s West Lawn.
The ceremony, co-hosted by U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), and Stephen T. Aye rs, Architect of the Capitol, culminated a more than 4,000-mile journey for the 74-foot Lutz spruce. After being harvested in late October in the Chugach National Forest in Alaska, the tree was transported by ship 1,000 miles from Anchorage to the Port of Tacoma. It was then transported more than 3,000 miles by a specially-decaled Kenworth T680 from its first stop in the Lower 48 at the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) in Seattle to the nation’s capital.
The special Kenworth T680 was operated by Lynden Transport, a long-time Kenworth customer and valued partner. The T680 was made available for the tour by PacLease, which offers customized full-service lease, rental and contract maintenance programs featuring Kenworth trucks.
This year marks the 51st anniversary of the traditional Capitol Hill Christmas Tree ceremony, which was first begun by U.S. House Speaker John W. McCormack in 1964. The tour attracted over 10,000 visitors at 14 scheduled stops during its trip from the Chugach National Forest to Anchorage and from Seattle to the District of Columbia, across 12 more states in the Lower 48. The 74-foot Lutz spruce is decorated with more than 4,000 hand-made ornaments, crafted by children and others from Alaska communities.
“This year’s Capitol Christmas Tree Tour provided some great moments for the adults and children at the community events and for those who saw ‘The People’s Tree’ going down the highway transported by our special Kenworth T680 tour truck,” said Kurt Swihart, Kenworth marketing director. “It was a special honor for our Kenworth – Chillicothe, Ohio, plant employees to build the Capitol Christmas Tree T680, see it return home to the plant with the tree, and also visit Mt. Logan Elementary where some of their children attend school. We’re proud to have participated in this American tradition.”
The tree will remain lit with strands of LED (light-emitting diodes) lights from dusk until 11 p.m., each night through the holiday season.
Kenworth Truck Company is the manufacturer of The World’s Best(R) heavy and medium duty trucks. Kenworth’s Internet home page is at www.kenworth.com. Kenworth is a PACCAR company.