DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado’s governor isn’t backing down from his stance that the tastiest green chiles in the world are grown in the Centennial state. On Thursday Gov. Jared Polis used the tree lighting ceremony for the Colorado State Capitol Christmas tree as a vehicle for showing his support for green chiles grown in Pueblo.
After describing the impressively decorated sub-alpine Colorado fir to a crowd of dignitaries in the Capitol’s north foyer, he held up the ornament he brought to the ceremony to add to the tree — a Pueblo chile decoration.
“Another part of Colorado’s greatest bounty is we produce the greatest chiles in the world,” he said, and then placed the chile on the tree.
Over the summer New Mexico took at jab at Colorado by creating an ad claiming they are the “Chile Capital of the World.” The ad featured a Coloradan traveling south to New Mexico just to bring back home some hatch chiles. It came after a widely publicized social media “chile feud” between Polis and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who both claimed their state has the best chiles.
In addition to a small Pueblo chile, this year’s Colorado holiday tree is decorated in the state’s colors — red, white, blue, and gold, which honors everyone who serves in the military and has served under the state flag. Thursday’s ceremony was attended by members of the Colorado National Guard and Air Force officials, as well as other veterans and service members.
“Today is a special opportunity to honor the brave men and women who sacrificed so much to defend our freedom, our values and our security. We hold those who serve our country and their families in our prayers every day of the year, but particularly those who are separated from their loved ones during the holiday season, we all hold a special place in our heart for those families,” Polis said.
Polis also thanked everyone involved in getting the tree to the capitol and decorating it so splendidly. The tree was cut down at approximately 8,500 feet in Larimer County by the Colorado Forest Service foresters, and the action was done as part of wildfire mitigation efforts.
A menorah was also lit in the ceremony Thursday morning. Polis is the first Jewish governor in Colorado history.