Carolers greeted the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree in Bend, Oregon. Photo Courtesy of Willamette National Forest.
The 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is traveling the Oregon Trail in reverse, from Willamette National Forest in Oregon to Washington, D.C. The 3,000 mile-long journey celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the National Trails Systems Act and the 175th Anniversary of the Oregon Trail.
This weekend, “The People’s Tree” will make stops at Ft. Bridger State Historic Site in Fort Bridger and the Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site in Laramie.
Free tree viewings, with cookies and hot chocolate, will be held at Fort Bridger State Historic Site on Saturday, Nov. 17, and at the Wyoming Territorial Prison on Sunday, Nov. 18. The first 100 people who arrive at the Wyoming Territorial Prison will receive tree ornaments.
Both events will take place from 9 to 10 a.m. Visitors are welcome to take photos of the tree.
Each year, a different National Forest is selected to provide a tree to appear on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol for the Christmas season. This is the first tree selected from the Willamette National Forest and the second tree to come from Oregon.
The tree will arrive at Andrews Air Force Base (Joint Base Andrews), Maryland on Nov. 25 before being transported to the U.S. Capitol lawn.
The official tree lighting will occur Wednesday, Dec. 5. The tree will be lit by Oregon fourth-grader Brigette Harrington, whose essay about love for Oregon’s outdoors was selected by the Governor and her staff from around 1,200 entries. Read her essay here.
The progress of the tree along its route can be tracked in near real-time here.