U.S. Capitol tree lit

Christmas tree on west lawn of U.S. CapitolChristmas tree on west lawn of U.S. Capitol

The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree was lit Dec. 6 on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol after being transported cross-country by a Mack Pinnacle Axle Back model truck.

Second-grader Johnny Crawford of California joined Speaker of the House John Boehner to flip the switch, lighting the 63-foot white fir tree.

The tree traveled from the Stanislaus National Forest in the central Sierra Nevada Mountains in California. Drivers from Royal Trucking Co. spent nearly three weeks on the road, touring California and making stops across the country to celebrate the tree and the Christmas season.

In addition to the drivers, Concord, Calif.-based Royal Trucking provided a second Mack tractor to haul 3,000 handmade ornaments and 113 smaller fir trees to decorate various government buildings in Washington. Mack and Royal also donated the two trailers that were needed for the project.

Almost 10,000 low-energy LED and 3,000 ornaments adorn the tree, which will be lit nightly through Jan. 1. When the holiday concludes, the tree will be chipped into mulch and placed throughout the Capitol complex.