2008 Capitol Christmas Tree to be Lit tonight!!

December 2, 2008

The 70 foot Christmas tree from the Bitterroot National Forest has been installed and decorated in front of the our nation’s Capitol and the lighting ceremony will be tonight.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Montana’s Governor Brian Schweitzer will be on hand to officiate at tonight’s event. (I think House Speaker Pelosi will be throwing the switch.)

The Capitol Christmas tree has been known alternatively as the Capitol Holiday tree until Congress changed its name back to include the word Christmas.

It is traditionally decorated with scores of Christmas ornaments made by the children who live in the state that donates the tree. Weighing up to several pounds each, they are certainly a sight to see during the day!

Since 2005, the tree has been lit with LED Christmas lights – first, only 10% were converted in 2005 as an experiment then the Christmas lights were converted to 100% LED from 2006 on to take advantage of the 90% greater efficiency of LED Christmas lights vs. the traditional C9’s that had been used for so many years.

This year, the tree is decorated with 1000’s of C9 LED bulbs strung in 14 gauge stringer wire. Using retrofits allowed the Office of the Architect the flexibility to warm up the tree a bit since LEDs throw alot of blue light. The addition of extra warm white, orange and red will do just the trick.

Look out tonight on CNN for coverage of the event – and hopefully it will hit You Tube as well. The Capitol tree is just another wonderful tradition that helps kick off the whole Holiday season.

Now. To decorate our tree….. 1200 mini lights and a score of Owen and Jack’s ornaments.

Merry Christmas,
Shellie Gardner
Christmas Lights

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