This year a representative from Minnesota has the honor of being "The People's Christmas Tree" on the lawn of the Capitol in Washington, DC. It is called that because it always comes from public lands (this year in cooperation with the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe near Walker, Minnesota) and is decorated and transported by private donors.
On October 29, the 88-foot, 13,000 lb. white spruce from The Chippewa National Forest was felled by a lumberjack, placed in a wooden cradle on a semi, and taken to Bemidji State University. There volunteers tied up and wrapped the branches to ready it for a 30 city tour and 2000 mile drive to Washington, DC. (Photo from the US Forest Service)
Its first stop on the tour was Itasca State Park where it was ceremoniously watered from the headwaters of the Mississippi River. I was hoping to see it pass between St Paul and Rochester, waited for quite awhile on the route, but I somehow missed it.
The tree was lit with multicolored lights on the West Lawn of the Capitol last Tuesday night. Ten thousand ornaments cover the branches, handmade by Minnesota school children. Why 10,000? Because it comes from the "Land of Ten Thousand Lakes"!
(This photo was posted on Twitter. Crossing my fingers it's not copyrighted....)
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