AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - New Mexico is “Delivering Enchantment” this year, as the Carson National Forest was home to this year’s Capitol Christmas Tree.
The forest service took around a year of planning and searching for a tree that met their certain specifications.
They settled on three options and a tree right next to Red River was their final choice.
“It was all super exciting and also the fact that the tree was right within range of Red River,” said Red River Tourism Director April Ralph. “It was beautiful! The tree was perfectly shaped and it was just about the right size. They really checked all their boxes.”
The 60 foot blue spruce is known as the People’s Tree and is currently making its journey of more than 1,500 miles to Washington D.C. to grace the lawn of the United States Capitol Building.
The Red River community celebrated as the tree was cut down within five minutes, followed by roaring applause and cheer from spectators.
The tree was then loaded onto a 100 foot trailer and led off of the site parade-style, followed by eight national forest patrols, marshals on horseback, and special appearances from Santa Claus and Smokey the Bear.
Children in school also made their way outside and waited for over an hour to celebrate with the rest of their community.
“And they just screamed and yelled and clapped," said Ralph. "I guess Smokey and Santa almost got knocked over because the kids were so excited. We made it into a party. We had about 300 people there on the site and there’s only 500 that live in Red River.”
This was the third time the capitol tree has come out of New Mexico.
“For us in Red River, this is a once in a lifetime deal and I think the only other state that’s had it that many times is Colorado," said Ralph.
Ralph said Red River is honored to show the nation a little piece of the Land of Enchantment because it’s something they get to admire every single day.
If you would like to follow the tree’s journey across America, you can find daily updates on the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree’s Facebook Page.