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Christmas tree bound for U.S. Capitol planning NM stops

This year’s Capitol Christmas tree cut from the Carson National Forest being loaded on an 18-wheeler bound for Washington D.C. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The 60-foot New Mexico blue spruce chosen to grace the west front of the U.S. Capitol this holiday season is making 16 stops in the Land of Enchantment this week.

Nationally, events are planned in 30 communities during the 2,000-mile trek, which ends Nov. 25 in Washington D.C.

The tree, harvested last week from the Carson National Forest, will be in Albuquerque’s Civic Plaza on Thursday, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Albuquerque festivities include special performances by St. Mary’s Catholic School choir, Mariachi Vaquilla, and the Sky City Buffalo Ram Dance Group from Acoma Pueblo. There will be a blessing by Acoma Pueblo Governor Ron Shutiva and a special appearance by the Smokey Bear hot air balloon. Food vendors will be on hand.

Monday, the tree visited Questa, Eagle Nest, Angel Fire and Taos.

Here is the remaining schedule for New Mexico:

Tuesday, Nov. 12

• Taos Pueblo, 8-9 a.m.

• Chama Town Hall, 1:30-2:30 p.m.

• Jicarilla Apache Supermarket, Dulce, 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 13

• Shiprock High School, 8-9 a.m.

• Bloomfield Elementary School, 10 a.m.-11 a.m.

• St. Francis Assisi Park, Cuba, 1:30-2:15 p.m.

• Santa Fe Place Mall, 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 14

• Albuquerque Civic Plaza, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

• Gila National Forest, Black Range Ranger District, Truth or Consequences, 4-5 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 15

• Smokey Bear Historical Park, Capitan, 8-8:30 a.m.

• Mescalero Community Center & Tribal Offices, 10-11 a.m.

• Otero County Fairgrounds, Alamogordo, 12:30-1:30 p.m.

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