Holiday spirit truck stop

Capitol Christmas Tree coming to Cortez during 3,000-mile trip

Keywords: Poll question,

This year’s version of the U.S. Capitol’s Christmas tree will make a stop in Cortez.

The tree will be cut from the White River National Forest near Meeker.

It will then be wrapped and transported on a custom-decorated Mack Pinnacle truck driven by former U.S. Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell.

The truck will transport the tree more than 3,000 miles over the course of 23 days.

The tree and the truck will stop in about 30 cities and towns, journeying through Colorado and across the country.

Upon arrival in Washington, D.C., the tree will be placed on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol and decorated with more than 5,000 ornaments handmade by Colorado children depicting the tree’s theme, “Celebrating the Great Outdoors.”

Colorado also provided the official Capitol Christmas tree in 2000, said Al White, director of the Colorado Tourism Office.

White believes Sen. Campbell will drive the tree the entire route. “He drove it last time and said it was the most fun thing he did while in public service,” White said.

Children who submit ornaments are eligible to enter a drawing to win a trip to the nation’s capital to light the tree with Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, at a ceremony in early December.

Details, date and location of the Cortez stop will be announced soon.

Costs associated with the tree’s transportation and tour events are made possible by contributions of cash and in-kind services by individuals, corporations and local communities.