Capitol Christmas Tree comes to Pinedale
Singer/songwriter Bryan Ragsdale, from Green River, Wyoming, was asked by U.S. Senator John Barrasso to compose the official song for the lighting ceremony on December 7th in Washington D.C. Ragsdale is traveling with the tree and performs the song, entitled "Cowboy Christmas Tree," at each of the town stops.
(L to R): Jeff Underwood, (Jeff Underwood Trucking, Inc.) Mary Cernicek (USFS-Bridger-Teton National Forest), Mark Fortner Jeff Underwood Trucking), and Mark Sorenson (USFS-Bridger-Teton National Forest) are part of the entourage accompanying the tree on its tour to Washington D.C.
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by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online!
November 12, 2010
The Bridger-Teton National Forest had the honor of contributing the Christmas Tree for display on the west lawn of the United States Capitol for 2010. The 67-foot Engelmann spruce was cut on Saturday, November 6th from the northern part of the forest. The first time Wyoming has ever given the annual Christmas tree to the U.S. Capitol. The tree and entourage will tour Wyoming for 7 days then work its way east to Washington DC.
Over the past few months, individuals and organizations have answered the call to create Wyoming-made ornaments to adorn the Capitol Christmas Tree. Working with the theme, "Wyoming- Forever West," over 5,000 ornaments have been created to go with the tree.
On the second day of the tour, Veteranís Day, Thursday, November 11th, the tree made stops in Kemmerer, Big Piney and Pinedale. Each town had a celebration, entertainment, and offered an opportunity for the public to view the tree and sign the large banners on the sides of the semi-truck transporting the tree.
After its 19-day cross-country tour, the tree will be presented to the United States Congress on Monday, November 29th. The first time Wyoming has ever given the annual Christmas tree to the U.S. Capitol, this historic project is delivering a tree taller than a 7-story building, along with nearly 10,000 handmade ornaments and 80 companion trees that will be placed in offices throughout the Capitol Complex. Once at the Capitol, it will be lowered into a 5-foot deep hole and cemented into place, strung with colorful lights, and decorated with thousands of handcrafted ornaments made by Wyoming people from across the State. On December 7, the Speaker of the House, along with student Daniel Sitter of Fairview, Wyoming, will light the tree and showcase Wyoming's historical, cultural and natural beauty.
The official Cowboy Christmas Tree Song
Singer/songwriter Bryan Ragsdale, from Green River, Wyoming, was asked by Wyoming Senator John Barrasso to compose the official song for the lighting ceremony on December 7th in Washington D.C. Ragsdale is traveling with the entourage and performing at each stop. Bryan produced a CD, entitled "Cowboy Christmas Tree", with 14 original songs, 13 of them having been written by school children from around the state of Wyoming. Ragsdale will be touring the state throughout the month of November and December and accompanying the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree at a number of stops across Wyoming and the nation. To produce the CD, Ragsdale worked with students at schools in Glenrock, Gillette, Wright, Evanston, Mountain View, Fort Bridger, Fort Washakie, Lander, Dubois, Green River, Rock Springs, Cheyenne and Thermopolis. Proceeds from the sale of the CD will go to the schools which helped write the songs for the album as well as the Wyoming Arts Alliance and the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Project.
Capitol Christmas Tree Merchandise
The Grand Teton Association was designated to be in charge of the souvenir merchandise for the Capitol Christmas Tree Project. Momentos are for sale at all Wyoming stops along the treeís tour across the country. Momentos include 2010 Capitol Christmas Tree t-shirts, caps, mugs, ornaments, note cards, postcards, bookbags, magnets, posters, fleece, pins and patches. All proceeds benefit the 2010 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Project.
Tentative Tour Schedule
Nov 6, 2010: Tree Cutting Celebration on the Jackson Town Square at 4:30 p.m.
Day 1: Afton/Evanston, WY - Nov. 10th
Day 2: Afton/Kemmerer/Big Piney/Pinedale - Nov. 11th
Day 3: Rock Springs/Rawlins - Nov. 12th
Day 4: Lander/Dubois/Riverton - Nov. 13th
Day 5: Thermopolis/Cody - Nov. 14th
Day 6: Sheridan/Buffalo - Nov. 15th
Day 7: Casper/Laramie - Nov 16th
Day 8: Cheyenne - Nov. 17th
Day 9: Wheatland/Douglas/Gillette - Nov. 18th
Day 10: Sundance/Leaving WY - Nov. 19th
Day 10: Spearfish/Sturgis/Chamberlain, SD - Nov. 19th
Day 11: Sioux Falls, SD - Blue Earth, MN - Nov. 20th
Day 12: Britt, IA - Columbia, MO - Nov. 21st
Day 13 & 14: Memphis, TN - Nov. 22 & 23
Day 15 & 16: Dahlonega, GA - Nov. 24 & 25th
Day 17: Staunton, VA - Nov. 26th
Day 18: Hershey, PA - Nov. 27th
Day 19: Chevy Chase, MD - Nov. 28th
Day 20: Tree arrives in Washington, DC, Nov. 29th