Dueling D.C. Christmas Trees

Workers from the Architect of the Capitol unload the Capitol Christmas Tree on the West Front. Ryan will light the tree on Wednesday. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan won't have to compete with Miss Piggy.  

That's because the Wisconsin Republican will have the eyes of the nation on him and only him as he lights the Capitol Christmas Tree Wednesday on the West Front, at around 5 p.m. The White House, perhaps wisely, chose not to set up any dueling Christmas tree lightings this week. It scheduled the National Christmas Tree lighting for Thursday, complete with celebrity Muppet helpers. Ryan will light the 74-foot Lutz spruce from the Chugach National Forest in Alaska with a designated Alaskan, 10-year-old Anna Kathleen DeVolld. It'll be his first big pop culture moment since being sworn in to replace John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, as the top House member.  

The tree came to the Capitol on Nov. 20 when John Schank from Fairbanks, Alaska, arrived in his "From Northern Lights to Capitol Lights" emblazoned rig from the Last Frontier State .  

The White House will light the National Christmas Tree, an approximately 30-foot Colorado blue spruce first planted in the Ellipse in 2012, at 5 p.m. the next day.  

While President Barack Obama won't have DeVolld as his wing-woman in lighting, he'll have at his disposal the likes of Miss Piggy ; Trombone Shorty; Crosby, Stills and Nash; Fall Out Boy and other for the live broadcast on PBS.  

“I am so thrilled to be part of the National Christmas Tree Lighting, I hear this year’s tree will be almost as bright, shiny and dazzlingly beautiful as moi!” Miss Piggy said in a statement circulated by the National Parks Foundation, which helps put on the White House shindig.  

Although the Capitol Christmas Tree lighting might lack some of the pageantry of such puppetry, one advantage it has is some space.  

It's easy enough to attend the West Front event. Just show up. For those wanting to go the National Christmas Tree gig? If you didn't enter a lottery months ago, you'll have to watch it on television or online.

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