Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Scheduled for December 6
The 2018 Capitol Christmas Tree, known as the “People’s Tree,” arrived on Capitol Hill on Monday, November 26. The 80-foot-tall noble fir now stands on the West Front Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.
Harvested on November 2, the tree traveled more than 3,000 miles over two weeks from the Willamette National Forest in western Oregon to Washington, D.C. During its journey by truck, the tree stopped in communities along the way. Now in place, the tree will be decorated with handmade ornaments created by Oregonians.
The Architect of the Capitol’s Director of Capitol Grounds and Arboretum Jim Kaufman – the man charged with selecting the Capitol Christmas Tree – wrote in a blog post that he was searching for “the perfect tree.”
“I was looking for a tree that could be viewed from 360 degrees, without a bad side. It had to be a full tree that will have firm branching that will hold the thousands of handcrafted ornaments that will adorn the tree.”
Since 1970, the U.S. Forest Service has upheld the tradition of selecting and providing the Capitol Christmas Tree. The effort is supported by the Architect of the Capitol, whose employees help select, install, decorate, and light the tree each year.
The lighting ceremony to be held on Thursday, December 6, at 5 p.m. on the West Front Lawn of the Capitol. The ceremony is open to the public, and no tickets are required. Event entrances are at Garfield and Peace Circles along First Street SW.
Following the lighting ceremony, the tree will be lit from nightfall until 11 p.m. each night through January 1, 2019.