After 4,000 miles and three weeks on the road, the Bulldog can finally rest and bask in the glow of the illuminated 2011 Capitol Christmas Tree now lighting the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol.
During a December 6 ceremony, second grader Johnny Crawford, a California native, joined Speaker of the House John Boehner to flip the switch, lighting the 63-foot white fir tree and ushering in the holiday season.
Prior to arriving in Washington, the tree traveled from California behind a Mack Pinnacle Axle Back model truck, custom decorated for the journey with Mack’s iconic Bulldog pulling a fir across snowy terrain.
On November 5, the fir was loaded onto a special trailer, to be hauled across the country by the SmartWay-certified Mack Pinnacle sleeper model. Professional truck drivers from Royal Trucking Company spent nearly three weeks on the road, touring California and making special stops across the country to celebrate the magnificent tree and the Christmas season.
In addition to the drivers, Royal Trucking, a Concord, California-based carrier, 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 from night fall until 11 p.m. each evening through January 1, 2012. When the holiday concludes, the tree will be chipped into mulch and placed throughout the Capitol Complex.
For the past 41 years the U.S. Forest Service has provided a tree to be placed on the west lawn of the Capitol building and decorated to celebrate the holiday season in the nation’s capital. This year, the tree was chosen from the Stanislaus National Forest in the central Sierra Nevada Mountains.