Cabela's Great Outdoors Days features 2012 Capitol Christmas Tree

Event Includes Opportunity for Kids to Make Ornaments for Christmas Tree

The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests will be participating in Cabelas' Fall Great Outdoor Days #2 on August 25-26. Held in the store's parking lot from 9 Am to 4 PM, the event focuses on the “Big Game Classic” and highlights big game hunting opportunities in Colorado, as well as hunt preparation. The Forest Service will be on hand to provide Forest and hunting information, answer questions and to distribute Motor Vehicle Use Maps. A station for kids to create a Christmas Tree Ornament that may be displayed on the Capitol Christmas tree this year will also be provided from 9 AM to about 1:00 PM, or while supplies last.

This year, the Capitol Christmas Tree comes from the White River National Forest in Colorado and it is approximately 65 feet tall. The Forest Service has partnered with the nonprofit ‘Choose Outdoors' to bring the Capitol Christmas Tree and its theme message ‘Celebrating our Great Outdoors' to the nation.

Colorado children are invited to create the 5,000 ornaments needed to decorate it. These ornaments need to be large enough to be seen from a distance, and weatherproof. Colorado children who submit an outdoor ornament are eligible to enter a drawing to win a trip to Washington, D.C. The child who wins this drawing will be invited to light the Tree with House Speaker John Boehner at a ceremony in early December.

‘Choose Outdoors' is securing sponsorships and private donations to fund the transport of the Capitol Christmas Tree. ‘Choose Outdoors' and the Forest Service will use the Tree's tour across the country as a platform for encouraging outdoor recreation and stewardship of public lands.

People across the nation will have the opportunity to participate in this celebration. ‘Choose Outdoors' will coordinate contests for songwriters and artists, and the White River National Forest will gather ornaments handmade by Colorado children. These ornaments will travel to Washington, D.C., where the Capitol Landscape Architect will use them to decorate the Capitol Christmas Tree.

The tradition of the Capitol Christmas Tree, or 'The People's Tree', began in 1964 when House Speaker John W. McCormack (D-MA) placed a live Christmas tree on the Capitol lawn. This tree lived three years before succumbing to wind and root damage. In 1970, the Capitol Architect asked the U.S. Forest Service to provide this Christmas tree. Since then, a different National Forest is chosen each year to provide The People's Tree. This National Forest also works with State Forests to provide 'Companion Trees', or smaller Christmas trees for offices around the Capitol.
Contact: Bruce Ward at 303 917 1476 or for more info