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U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, Gift From Idaho, Lights Up National Mall

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JAMES EDWARDS MILLS COURTESY OF CHOOSE OUTDOORS
  • James Edwards Mills courtesy of Choose Outdoors
Isabella Gerard, 10, of Boise, flipped the switch on the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Tuesday night, illuminating the 80-foot Engelmann spruce that traveled cross-country from the Little Ski Hill, just north of McCall, in the Payette National Forest. Isabella, a fifth-grader at St. Mary's Catholic School in Bosie, won the honor after penning a poem, titled "Pristine Idaho Mountains." Gerard joined U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan in Tuesday's rain-soaked ceremony.

The 84-year-old tree was harvested in early November and shipped 4,000 miles across the U.S. in a 105-foot truck. The spruce made the trip with a separate shipment of 69 smaller evergreens that are being distributed to dozens of federal offices across the Washington, D.C. area.