Wright Illuminates Capitol Christmas Tree
WASHINGTON (AP) _ House Speaker Jim Wright flipped the switch on the Capitol Christmas tree Wednesday, lighting up the 60-foot Norway spruce from Ohio.
Wright, D-Texas, called it a ″magnificent″ tree, ″bigger I dare say than one of its kind that might have been brought from Texas,″ a remark that drew laughter from the crowd.
The 78-year-old Norway spruce was cut from the Wayne National Forest, about 15 miles from Marietta, Ohio. It was adorned with 4,000 lights and 6,000 ornaments and graces the west lawn of the Capitol building.
Mayor Nancy Hollister of Marietta, Ohio, said 11 months of planning went into the project.
″We send you our magnificent queen of the forest,″ Ms. Hollister told lawmakers and others at the ceremony, which was attended by hundreds of Marietta residents.
It marks the first time in 20 years the Capitol tree has not come from New England or the upper Great Lakes area. Its selection coincides with Ohio’s bicentennial celebration of the Northwest Ordinance and the founding of Marietta as the state’s first settlement.