Christmas tree lit on lawn of U.S. Capitol

The Christmas tree at the U.S. Capitol is decked and ready to be lit during a ceremony led by Speaker of the House Paul D. Ryan Wednesday, December 6.

The tree is placed on the West Front Lawn of the Capitol Building and will be first lit after 5 p.m.

The tree was chosen in consultation with the United States Forest Service by the Architect of the Capitol, Stephen T. Ayers, who will serve as master of ceremonies during Wednesday's lighting ceremony.

According to the website for the Architect of the Capitol, this year's tree, an Englemann Spruce, was chosen from the Kootenai National Forest in northwest Montana and harvested November 8.

The tree traveled across the country, making stops along the way, and arrived at the U.S. Capitol Monday, November 27. The Architect of the Capitol's grounds team secured and decorated the tree with thousands of handcrafted ornaments from communities across Montana.

The annual lighting of the Capitol Christmas Tree has been a tradition of more than 50 years. The tree will be lit from nightfall until 11 p.m. each evening through January 1, 2018.