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U.S. Capitol Christmas tree to visit Shiprock, Bloomfield


Noel Lyn Smith   | Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — The 60-foot blue spruce bound to serve as the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree will stop in two communities in San Juan County this week.

The blue spruce was harvested on Nov. 6 from the Carson National Forest in northern New Mexico and starts its trip across country on Nov. 11.

"New Mexico is incredibly proud of our beautiful forests and great outdoors. It's such a privilege to share a small piece of our public lands with the nation's capital for this year's celebration," Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said at the tree cutting ceremony.

The tree will be delivered by a Kenworth W900 transport trailer and will visit approximately 30 communities before arriving on Nov. 25 to Washington, D.C.

On Nov. 13, it will be at Shiprock High School in Shiprock from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., then at Central Primary elementary school in Bloomfield from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

There will be a short program when the tree stops at Shiprock High, according to the Central Consolidated School District.

The program will consist of comments from school officials and invited guests, music from the Shiprock High School band and students from Ojo Amarillo Elementary School will sing Christmas carols, a press release from CCSD states.

Pandora Mike, principal for Ojo Amarillo Elementary, said in the release that third grade students there were selected to make ornaments for the tree.

"It gives us great pride and joy for them to be able to share our cultural uniqueness. Our students will definitely remember this experience for the rest of their lives," Mike said.

Details about the visit to Bloomfield were not available by deadline on Nov. 8.

The website for the 2019 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree explains that the tradition began in 1964 when John McCormack, speaker for the U.S. House of Representatives, placed a live tree for Christmas on the lawn of the Capitol.

In 1970, the Capitol architect asked the U.S. Forest Service to provide a tree for the holiday. Since then a different national forest has been selected to provide a tree.

The blue spruce from the Carson National Forest is being accompanied by smaller trees, which will be used to decorate offices inside the Capitol and in other places in Washington, D.C.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at nsmith@daily-times.com.

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