Holiday Celebrations Underway in D.C. (photos)

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Rick Prince, who works for the Architect of the Capitol, aligns the 80-pound copper star atop the 79-foot tree. The star is made primarily from copper mined in Montana. Photo by Jeff Malet.

The Christmas holiday season began in the District of Columbia the week after Thanksgiving weekend with the arrival of the Capitol Christmas Tree, the opening of the U.S. Botanic Garden’s “Season’s Greenings” display and various tree lighting ceremonies, such as the one at CityCenterDC.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service provides a tree each year from a different state for the tree lighting at the U.S. Capitol. On Monday, Nov. 27, a 79-foot Engelmann spruce completed its 3,400-mile journey to the Capitol West Lawn by truck from the Kootenai National Forest in northwest Montana. The 80-pound copper star that will top the tree and the ornaments that will spruce it up (so to speak) are handmade and come from different parts of the Big Sky State. This year’s lighting ceremony will take place Wednesday, Dec. 6, at 5 p.m.

This year’s Christmas show at the U.S. Botanic Garden features plant-based recreations of American roadside attractions, such as Colorado’s hot-dog-shaped Coney Island Hot Dog Stand, South Dakota’s Corn Palace and New Jersey’s Lucy the Elephant. Added to the permanent collection of D.C. landmarks made entirely from plant materials is a botanical version of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

CityCenterDC held its fourth annual holiday tree lighting Saturday, Nov. 24, with performances from the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, D.C., and the Cardinal Shehan School Choir from Baltimore. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Ward 2 Council member Jack Evans were on hand to light the 75-foot tree. NBC 4’s Eun Yang emceed the event.

View Jeff Malet’s photos by clicking on the photo icons below.

 

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