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The People’s Tree, otherwise known as the Capitol Christmas Tree, made its stop in Salida on November 13 where community members waited patiently in line to get a look. From here it stops in Denver, then rolls toward Washington D.C. to take its place of honor on the National Mall.

The tree on its way for viewing. Picture by Lori Roberts.

The event was a drive-by so many folks could enjoy it. This marks the 50th year of the Capitol Christmas tree project.

The tree was cut last Thursday in the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests. The National Forests cover approximately three million acres. The tree is 82 years old with a height of 55 feet and 20 feet in diameter.

Every year the project has a theme. This year’s theme is “Experience your nature.”

Community members participating in the safe drive-by tree viewing. Photo by Brooke Gilmore.

This theme was used to encourage the community to reflect on how they spend their time in nature and how they are safe. The forests were utilized more than ever before this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the theme highlighted this.

Typically, along the tree route people are able to sign the banner but due to COVID-19 people signed Christmas lights that would be attached as a symbol of the community’s wish to light the way.

The next stop on the 2,000-mile journey is Denver. To track the tree, click here.

Featured image: The Capitol Christmas Tree rolled through downtown Salida on U.S. 291 before arriving at the Salida High School parking lot. Photo taken from the second floor of the Twitchell Building.