US Capitol Christmas Tree

Meet the men hauling the US Capitol Christmas Tree from Oregon to Washington DC

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

From KGW 8Salem Police motorcycle officers blocked traffic at the intersection of 12th and Court streets NE on Tuesday, clearing the way for the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree.

Rick Williams, behind the wheel of the 106-foot-long truck and trailer carrying the prized noble fir, made the turn with room to spare.

But he couldn't have done it without an assist from his escorts, a scene replaying over and over as the tree is paraded through Oregon before it heads to Washington, D.C.

 

"Once we get off the Interstate and get into towns, there's some tight corners," said Williams, founder and CEO of Central Oregon Trucking Company. "But law enforcement is really making it pleasurable and safe for us driving."

The Redmond-based trucking company was chosen to transport the tree on its 3,000-mile journey from Willamette National Forest to the West Lawn.

Salem was the eighth of 23 stops on the tour, with the truck parking in front of the Oregon State Capitol for 1 hour, 40 minutes. Hundreds of people came to see the tree and sign the 50-foot-long banners on each side of the trailer.

Three primary drivers from Central Oregon Trucking will see time behind the wheel, including Williams. Phil Taylor, vice president of fleet maintenance, and Brad Aimone, director of driver safety services, are the others.

Williams said they are honored to be hauling such precious cargo, calling it "the event of a lifetime."

The plan is to have two of them in the cab at all times because visibility of the rear of the trailer can be difficult from the driver's side. It helps to have eyes on it from the passenger side, too.

As stressful as it can be to drive such a long rig, it's also comfortable. The Kenworth W990 is a state-of-the-art truck the company touts as the "perfect fusion of power, luxury, craftsmanship and traditional styling."

"It's similar to driving motorhomes these days as far as the interior and the quietness," Williams said.

The truck and trailer tipped the scales at 53,800 pounds at a weigh station on the way to the tree's next stop in Oregon City.

 

Williams estimated it will take 900 to 1,000 gallons of fuel to reach their destination. Pilot Flying J is donating the diesel, one of more than 60 local and national partners providing both cash and in-kind donations.

A second truck leaves Thursday carrying 75 smaller companion trees that will decorate government buildings and other public spaces at the U.S. Capitol, and 10,000 ornaments made by Oregonians. It won't be making whistle stops along the way.

 

 

 

Group effort to get Oregon fir tree to West Lawn of U.S. Capitol deserves thanks

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

From Salem Statesman Journal - This week, Duck and Beaver fans, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, boomers and millennials, and new and longtime Oregon residents alike united downtown to cheer for a silvery noble fir tree.

The now-72-foot long tree, which weighs more than seven tons, made a whistle stop in front of Oregon's Capitol before it begins a 3,000-mile trailer ride to the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., where it will be lighted for the holidays.

It's not often a crowd on the steps of Oregon's Capitol agree on anything. But during this inordinately chilly moment in time, Oregonians stood together and celebrated the mammoth fir tree cut from the Willamette National Forest.

The gift from Oregon to our nation appears ready for the trek. Plastic panels allow spectators along the way to view the top 24-feet of the tree adorned with ornaments handmade by Oregonians and other gifts from the Beaver State, including a bag of hazelnuts. The tree is cradled to prevent it from slipping and sliding during the journey.

Some background: Oregon narrows search for perfect Christmas tree for U.S. Capitol

Finding the perfect big tree: The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree has been found in an Oregon forest, but it's a secret

Chopping it down: Oregon's 82-foot noble fir tree for US Capitol comes down without a hitch

Big tree needs big tree skirt: Here's what it takes to quilt a 14-foot Christmas tree skirt for a U.S. Capitol building

Contest winner: Oregon fourth-grader gets to light U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

It has been wrapped with a 250-gallon vinyl bladder (bag) and sealed with a wax ring to keep it watered during the 17-day trip. Soaker hoses placed over the tree are designed to prevent branches from drying out during the trek. 

Capitol Christmas tree visits Bend on way to D.C.

Monday, November 12, 2018

From The BulletinThe U.S. Capitol Christmas tree was on display in the Old Mill District in Bend on Monday, where crowds showed up to see it and sign a banner on the trailer carrying the tree from where it was harvested in the Willamette National Forest to the nation’s capital. The 70-foot-tall noble fir will be stopping in more than 25 communities as it traverses the 3,000-mile path from Oregon to Washington, D.C., a journey that commemorates the 175th anniversary of the Oregon Trail, according to organizers of the project.

Since 1970, a different national forest has been chosen each year to provide the Christmas tree for the U.S. Capitol Building. Oregon was previously selected in 2002, when a Douglas fir from the Umpqua National Forest had the honor.

The tree will be displayed on the west lawn of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., with a public tree-lighting ceremony in early December.

Sweet Home celebrates Capitol Christmas Tree

Friday, November 09, 2018

From Albany Democrat-HeraldChristmas is more than a month away, but Sweet Home hosted a big holiday party Friday, complete with food, drink, music and a lighted parade featuring the Capitol Christmas Tree.

And soon, 22 libraries in towns large and small along the Oregon Trail will receive early Christmas presents from the Sweet Home Public Library.

Library Director Rose Peda said the community is sending a gift box — featuring Honeycrisp apples — to libraries scattered from Albany, Oregon, to Cincinnati, Ohio.

“Grandpa’s Farm in Albany has donated 22 boxes of Honeycrisp apples and we are sending the apples, a poster and two books to libraries in 22 towns along the tree route,” she said.

The books are Debra Hopkinson's “Apples to Oregon” and George Hallowell's “Wagons Ho.”

Peda said "Wagons Ho" will help children across the country imagine what it was like to travel on foot, horseback or in wagons, from Independence, Missouri, to Oregon.

“We are also sending a map of the tree route, program ideas and a poster,” she added.

Peda has been working on the project with Ron Feist of the U.S. Forest Service and her library assistant, Joy Kistner.

The first box of goodies didn’t have to travel far: It was sent to the Albany Public Library on Tuesday afternoon.

Children who visited the library’s booth at Friday's street fair in front of Sweet Home High School were invited to enjoy apples and help assemble a Conestoga wagon, Peda said. The event also featured about 40 food and craft vendors, live music and a lighted parade, followed by a program at the high school auditorium and a concert by the country music duo Cloverdayle.

Peda sent emails to each of the libraries and noted:

"Something big is coming your way!

"We invite you to join us in celebrating the travels of the Capitol Christmas tree. The tree will be traveling along the Oregon Trail and your community is one of the scheduled Whistle Stops for the tree. We will be sending you two books to use for a story time, after school program or family program. ...

"We will also be sending you a box of apples from Grandpa’s Farm, a map of the Oregon Trail highlighting the tree route, some program ideas from Louisiana State Library, and a poster.

"Some of the program ideas include:

  • Children plot the travels of the tree. You could ask them if they were to travel from Independence, Missouri, to Oregon what route would they travel?
  • Having a discussion with the children about what they would have brought on the trail with them."
  • Sweet Home will also send a gift box to Sen. Ron Wyden's office in Washington, D.C. See the online version of this story for a complete list of recipients across the country.

     

    Libraries that will receive gifts from Sweet Home include:

    Nov. 10: Albany Public Library and Eugene Public Library
    Nov. 11: Oakridge Public Library
    Nov. 12: City of Detroit
    Nov. 13: Salem Public Library
    Nov. 13: Oregon City Public Library and the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center

    Kenworth W990 Begins Transport of U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree to Washington, D.C., Following Harvest

    Tuesday, November 06, 2018

     

    • The 54th U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree – an 80-foot Noble Fir from Oregon’s Willamette National Forest – has started its nearly 3,000-mile journey to Washington, D.C., following its Nov. 2 harvesting near Sweet Home, Oregon.

      The Oregon Forest Service nominated six trees as candidates for the special honor. The Noble Fir, the first ever to serve as the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, was ultimately selected by a representative of the Architect of the Capitol. “It’s a stunning tree and will certainly represent Oregon well when it makes its way to Washington, D.C. Oregon is the largest producer of Christmas trees in the country, but no other tree will surpass this one, which was found about an hour outside of Sweet Home,” said Nikki Swanson, district ranger, for the Sweet Home Ranger District of the Willamette National Forest.

      On hand and ready for the load was a brand new Kenworth W990, along with members from Central Oregon Truck Company, this year’s designated hauler of the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. The company’s CEO Rick Williams; Phil Taylor, vice president of maintenance; and Brad Aimone, director of driver safety & services; watched as the tree was lifted by crane and set on the 80-foot long trailer. Williams, Taylor and Aimone are driving the Kenworth W990 and its special load as a part of an overall company effort that will involve other driving team members from the company. The flatbed carrier transports freight across the 48 continental states and Canada, and purchases its Kenworth trucks from The Papé Group, which is a major sponsor of this year’s tour.

      “It was a great sight. You don’t see an 80-foot tree loaded on a trailer every day, and they had to take great care to secure the branches,” said Rick Williams.

      Once the tree was set on the trailer, securing of the branches began. Taylor drove the Kenworth W990 and traversed the eight miles of logging roads before hitting U.S. Route 20 and Forest Service Road 2044, while Williams drove from there to the tree preparation area in Sweet Home. “The looks we received from other drivers were something else,” said Taylor. “We had so much pride in hauling the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. It was inspiring.”

      Once in Sweet Home, the tree was fitted with a special 200-gallon water bladder – to keep it hydrated, carefully wrapped and boxed. Final preparations were then made for the cross-country transport. The tour, which follows the Oregon Trail in reverse, will officially commence when the tree departs Sweet Home and begins its journey 3,000 miles to the east. Along the way, the tree will stop for 25 community events, helping to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Oregon Trail, and the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System Act.

      The Kenworth W990 transporting the tree features a distinctive graphics package with a brightly lit and colorfully adorned Christmas Tree next to the U.S. Capitol below the words “From the Oregon Trail to the Capitol Steps.” Featuring a 76-inch mid-rood sleeper, the W990 was spec’d with the PACCAR Powertrain – a PACCAR MX-13 engine rated at 455-hp and 1,650 lb-ft of torque, 12-speed automated transmission, and 40K tandem rear axle. The truck was also specified with the Limited Edition interior, premium GT703 seats and audio system, Kenworth Nav+HD, predictive cruise control, 1800W inverter, 180-degree swivel passenger seat, and Kenworth TruckTech+® remote diagnostics.

      The tour stops begin Monday, Nov. 9, at nearby Sweet Home High School where the tree will be the main event for a parade and street fair. The tour will end Nov. 25 at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, before being delivered to the U.S. Capitol in late November. A special tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 5 will be hosted by the Architect of the Capitol, in conjunction with the U.S. Speaker of the House.

      Kenworth is The Driver’s Truck™. See what drivers are saying at www.kenworth.com/drivers.

      Kenworth Truck Company is the manufacturer of The World’s Best® heavy and medium duty trucks. Kenworth’s Internet home page is at www.kenworth.com. Kenworth is a PACCAR company.

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    Sweet Home Ready to Celebrate U.S. Capital Christmas Tree

    Sunday, November 04, 2018

     

    From Polk County Itemizer-ObserverEach year a different national forest in the United States is selected to provide a tree to appear on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol for the Christmas season.

    This year, for the first time, the tree was chosen from the Willamette National Forest. It's only the second to come from Oregon.

    On Nov. 2, the tree was cut and prepared for the more than 3,000-mile journey to Washington, D.C., where it will be lit in an official ceremony, which will occur in early December as determined by the Speaker of the House.

    The Sweet Home U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Celebration will take place starting at noon on Nov. 9 at Sweet Home High School, 1651 Long St. Live music, provided by Oregon-based musicians will begin at noon and continue through 5 p.m.

    Cathy Cheshire, Markus Thedford, Praise in 3D, and R & R Country Rock Band will perform, and there will be Christmas Star! Karaoke.

    Sign-ups for Karaoke will be before 3 p.m.

    More than 40 art and craft vendors, some with souvenir items, will be located in the Sweet Home High School cafeteria.

    Food & drinks will be available.

    A lighted night-time parade will begin at 6 p.m. on Main and Long Streets.

    The US Capitol Tree will be the final parade participant. Attendees will have the chance to sign the banner on the sides of the truck to wish the tree well, before it begins its journey to Washington D.C. The Sweet Home Celebration event will finish up with a performance by Cloverdayle at 8 p.m. in the Sweet Home High School Gymnasium.

    Event parking with shuttle service to and from the parade and celebration will be available at designated locations around Sweet Home. Watch for reader board signs to direct.

    After the celebration event in Sweet Home, the tree will be trucked to the Veterans Parade on Nov. 10 in Albany.

    It will then make stops at Cabela's in Springfield, the McKenzie River Ranger Station, Oakridge, Bend, Detroit, the state capitol and Oregon City before heading east on Nov. 14, on its trip across the nation.

    The cross-country trek from Sweet Home to Washington will include stops at more than 25 communities across the nation as it follows the reverse path of the Oregon Trail, in recognition of the 175th anniversary of the establishment of the route.

    For more information, contact the Sweet Home Chamber of Commerce 541-367-6186.

     

    Oregon noble fir cut down for US Capitol Christmas tree

    Saturday, November 03, 2018

    Reposted from KGW 8 — Jonah Gladney has cut down his share of trees, but seldom such a healthy specimen and never in front of an audience.

    Most of the trees the fire crew supervisor from Stayton encounters are snags and headed for a burn pile, not the West Lawn of the United States Capitol.

    Gladney took time out from leading a crew of wildland firefighters on prescribed burn duty in the Detroit and Sweet Home areas to help harvest the 82-foot-tall noble fir on Friday that will decorate the nation's Capitol during the holidays.

    The tree was supported with two slings from a crane as it was cut, to prevent it from falling and its branches from breaking.

    It's the first time in the 47-year history of the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Program that a noble has been selected and the second time Oregon has supplied the tree. A 70-foot Douglas fir from Umpqua National Forest was chosen in 2002.

    During Friday morning's cutting ceremony, 50 lucky Oregonians were able to attend in person, with hard hats on their heads and smartphones in their hands.

    The soggy conditions didn't dampen their spirits as they cheered the moment the tree cracked and swayed free. Dozens of others waited at River Bend County Park for the replay to be shown later on a giant screen.

    The Statesman Journal drone team captured live footage from above. Members from 10 media outlets did the same from the ground.

    Never has so much attention been paid to a tree being felled in Oregon, which has a proud history of logging.

    Gladney, with his wife and two young children among the crowd, called it his "30 seconds of glory."

    With all eyes on him and the tree, he said he felt the pressure "a little bit at first, but then the saw started and it all came naturally."

    Vernon Esplin, the owner of Buena Vista Arbor Care and experienced at crane tree removal, set the stage for Gladney. He climbed to the top to set the rigging and secure the noble. While there, he dropped a line for a measurement.

    The noble was 2 feet taller than officials originally thought and was 28 inches diameter at breast height. Esplin said the cutting team estimated the tree to weigh 14,000 to 16,000 pounds.

    Tracy Beck, forest supervisor with Willamette National Forest, counted 26 rings on one of the souvenir rounds taken 8 feet up the tree and estimated the noble to be about 35 years old.

    The number of spectators, shuttled to the site in rented vans, was limited by the size of the area surrounding the tree and the need to accommodate a crane and supporting equipment provided by Papé and Axis Crane.

    Officials from the Willamette National Forest had planned for and anticipated this moment for more than a year. A shadow team observed and pitched in last year when the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree was harvested in Montana.

    Joanie Schmidgall, a member of that team, said Oregon was able to plan a bigger cutting ceremony, in part because the 79-foot Engelmann spruce from Montana was felled in a more remote area.

    The perfect tree from Oregon was chosen in August from a handful of finalists by the visiting Architect of the Capitol. Oregon foresters, recreation specialists and a botanist presented a list of candidates.

    The location was kept secret until Friday. It took about 50-minute drive to get to the site, including the last 8 miles on a gravel Forest Service road beyond House Rock Campground at an elevation of 3,500 feet.

    Once cut, the tree was lifted by a crane and loaded onto a flatbed truck which got stuck in the mud on a bend in the road on its way out of the forest.

    Heavy equipment will be used Saturday to free to the truck and trailer which will then head for a warehouse in Sweet Home, a small logging town. Panels, including some see-through, will be added to the flatbed and the tree's branches gently tucked inside for the 3,000-mile journey to Washington, D.C.

    A celebration will be held Friday, Nov. 9 in Sweet Home before the tree begins following a reverse path of the Oregon Trail.

    A series of events will be hosted in communities along the way. Eleven of the 24 stops are in Oregon, including 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Nov. 13, at the State Capitol in Salem.


    Oregon also is providing 70 smaller companion trees to decorate government buildings and other public spaces, plus decorations for all. Oregonians have made 10,000 homemade ornaments, 3,500 for the big tree and 6,500 for the smaller trees.

    clynn@StatesmanJournal.com, 503-399-6710, or follow on Twitter @CapiLynn and Facebook @CapiLynnSJ.


    2018 Capitol Christmas Tree Dates Announced

    Friday, November 02, 2018

    The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) selects the annual U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree in consultation with the United States Forest Service.

    This year's tree, sponsored by the Oregon Congressional Delegation led by U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, was chosen from the Willamette National Forest. The tree will be harvested on November 2, 2018, and will travel cross-country to Washington, D.C. by truck.

    The Capitol Christmas Tree will make stops in communities along the route to the nation's capital and arrive at the U.S. Capitol on Monday, November 26, 2018, at 10 a.m. The AOC's Capitol Grounds and Arboretum team will secure the tree and decorate it with thousands of handcrafted ornaments from the people of Oregon.

    The tree will be lit by the Speaker of the House, Paul D. Ryan, on Wednesday, December 5, 2018, during a ceremony on the West Front Lawn beginning at 5 p.m.

    The annual lighting of the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is a time-honored tradition of more than 50 years. The tree will be lit from nightfall until 11 p.m. each evening through January 1, 2019.

    Learn more about the tree selection process on AOC's blog.

    From the Architect of the Capitol


    Timber! Willamette National Forest to Host Public Tree Cutting Celebration for the 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

    Monday, October 22, 2018

    The 2018 United States Capitol Christmas Tree will be harvested from the Willamette National Forest on November 2, 2018. The Sweet Home Ranger District is hosting two public events so Oregonians can both see and celebrate this important moment in the yearlong U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree campaign.

    Come join us to celebrate the cutting of the tree! Starting today, 50 lucky people who register here will be able to attend the tree cutting event. The number of public attendees is limited by the size of the area surrounding the tree, plus the need to accommodate tree-lifting cranes and a large truck. The event will include brief remarks by the Forest Service employees, local officials, and partners. Attendees will meet at River Bend County Park in Foster, Ore., at 9:00 a.m. and will be shuttled to the site, which is approximately one hour away on rural forest roads. The tree cutting will take place between 11:15 a.m. and noon. The tree will be cut with a saw donated by Husqvarna, and the tree-lifting crane and supporting equipment provided by The Papé Group and Axis Crane. Attendees will be shuttled back and should return to River Bend County Park by 1:30 p.m. While there will be tents and bathroom facilities, attendees will be outside the entire time and should be prepared for inclement weather, including rain or snow. For full event details, participant requirements and online registration, visit https://capitolchristmastree2018.eventbrite.com.

    A second celebratory event will be held at River Bend County Park mid-afternoon, beginning at 1:30 p.m. A video of the tree cutting will be broadcast on a giant screen and light refreshments will be provided. This event is open to the public and registration is not required. There is no limit to the number of people who may attend. In attendance will be the “tree team” comprised of Forest Service officials, partners, and sponsors.

     

    “We are thrilled to be able to share this exciting part of the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree’ s journey with our fellow Oregonians. The people of Oregon have been instrumental to the success of this project. From the kindness of our cooperators to everyone who helped make ornaments and tree skirts, Oregonians have come together to send this beautiful Noble Fir and over 10,000 ornaments as a gift from the state of Oregon to the U.S. Capitol and all Americans,” said Nikki Swanson, U.S. Forest Service Sweet Home District Ranger.

    After the tree is cut, it will come to Sweet Home where it will be prepared for the long journey east on a Kenworth W990 truck hauled by Central Oregon Truck Company with support from The Papé Group. The next step in the tree’s journey will begin on Friday, November 9, when it departs from Sweet Home, Ore. and begins its 3,000-mile road trip through Oregon and across the country to Washington, D.C. The theme for the 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is “Find Your Trail!” in recognition of two 2018 anniversaries: the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System Act and the 175th commemoration of the Oregon Trail.

    Accordingly, the tree will depart Oregon following the reverse path along the Oregon Trail with stops in Albany, Springfield, McKenzie Bridge, Oakridge, Bend, Detroit, Salem, Oregon City, The Dalles, and Baker City. A series of festive events will be hosted by communities along the way and attendees can sign banners on the sides of the truck, learn more about the Forest Service, purchase U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree merchandise and more. A complete schedule and list of special events is available at www.capitolchristmastree.com.

    The trip to Washington, D.C. is made possible thanks to large and small companies and volunteers locally and across America who provide support of time and resources, including The Papé Group, KGW8, Kenworth Truck Company, Central Oregon Truck Company, SkyBitz, Oregon Forest Resources Institute, Hale Trailer, VanDoIt Adventure Vans, Alaska Airlines, Husqvarna, Meritor, Pilot Flying J, Truckload Carriers Association, Willamette Valley Visitors Association, Axis Crane, Eaton, Great West Casualty Company, the National Forest Foundation and the City of Sweet Home.

    The U.S. Forest Service has provided the Capitol Christmas Tree every year since 1970. In January 2018, the U.S. Forest Service announced that the 2018 Capitol Christmas Tree would come from Oregon’s Willamette National Forest. The 80-foot noble fir tree was selected by a representative of the Architect of the Capitol in August. This will be the first time in the program’s 47-year history that a noble fir has been a U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree.

    The tree will be displayed on the West Lawn of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., with a public tree- lighting ceremony in early December 2018. The last time Oregon was chosen to provide the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree was in 2002, when a tree was selected from the Umpqua National Forest.

     

    Seventy smaller companion trees will also be sent to Washington, D.C. from the Willamette National Forest to decorate government buildings and public spaces this December. Additionally, Oregonians will contribute 10,000 handmade ornaments.

    Hillsboro Fourth Grader is Chosen to Light U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

    Monday, October 15, 2018

     

    Sweet Home, Ore., October 15, 2018 – This December, Brigette Harrington, a fourth grader at Jackson Elementary School in Hillsboro, Ore., will be flying to Washington, D.C., to join the U.S. Speaker of the House in lighting the 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree during the official ceremony.

    Each year, a different national forest is chosen to provide “The People’s Tree” for the holiday season, and this year, Oregon’s Willamette National Forest was selected for the honor. A gift to the people of the United States, it will be displayed on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., in December 2018. The tree-lighting ceremony date is still to be determined by the U.S. House of Representatives.

    In celebration of Oregon providing the 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, Gov. Kate Brown invited all Oregon fourth graders to write an essay on what they love about Oregon’s outdoors – a topic that matched the 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree theme, “Find Your Trail!” More than 1,200 students participated in the essay contest, and the governor selected Brigette’s essay which uses the form of “The Night Before Christmas” to poetically describe Oregon’s four seasons. (Read the submittal here.)

    "It was exciting to have so many young Oregonians submit essays about our beautiful state. Oregon has a strong tradition of exploring our outdoor spaces and I'm excited to see this continue in the next generation of Oregon explorers," said Governor Brown. "I particularly loved Brigette's reflections on Oregon's four seasons, and I am thrilled that she will be representing all Oregonians at the U.S. Capitol."

    Brigette and one adult guardian will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to take part in the tree-lighting ceremony alongside members of the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate and the public. She will also be invited to attend festivities around the tree lighting that take place throughout the Capitol.

    “I’m feeling pretty amazed and excited. It’s such an honor, and I’m excited to light the tree!” said Brigette.

    All Oregon fourth graders are eligible to receive a free annual pass to hundreds of parks, lands and waters across the United States for an entire year through the Every Kid in a Park program. They are also eligible for a free permit to cut their own Christmas tree from an Oregon National Forest.

    On the Road to Washington, D.C.
    This November, Oregonians of all ages can virtually follow the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree as it travels along the Oregon Trail, plus see the tree in person at fun community events in Sweet Home, Albany, Springfield, McKenzie Bridge, Oakridge, Bend, Detroit, Salem, Oregon City, The Dalles and Baker City. Information about the tree, travel route, schedule and special events is available at www.capitolchristmastree.com.

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