80-foot-tall noble fir lights up the West Front Lawn of the U.S. Capitol
Hundreds of people gathered to see the 2018 Capitol Christmas Tree, also called ‘the People’s Tree,’ illuminate the night for the first time this year.
“This is my fourth and final time leading this event, and each time the tree is more stunning,” said Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan at the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 6.
The 80-foot tree was harvested from the Willamette National Forest in western Oregon and took two weeks to make the more than 3,000 mile trek to Washington, D.C. It is the first noble fir to be used as the Capitol Christmas Tree in the event’s 55-year history.
Speaker Ryan lit the 80-foot-tall noble fir with the help of this year’s official tree lighter, fourth grader Bridgette Harrington. Hailing from Hillsboro, Oregon, Bridgette won this year’s U.S. Christmas Capitol Christmas Tree essay contest with her poem on the topic of ‘What I love about Oregon’s outdoors.’ Her poem detailed Oregon’s “extraordinary, each one of a kind” seasons.
Arriving on the West Front Lawn on November 30, the tree was installed and decorated by the Architect of the Capitol’s grounds team. The tree is adorned with thousands handcrafted ornaments from communities across Oregon.
“This tree allows everyone from all over the country to come together and enjoy Oregon’s beauty and bounty during the holiday season,” said Representative Peter DeFazio. Representative DeFazio represents Oregon’s fourth district, where the tree was harvested. “I hope this tree inspires all of you here to go out and find your own trail.”
The Capitol Christmas Tree will be lit from nightfall until 11 p.m. every night until January 1, 2019. If you missed the event, you can watch a video of the lighting ceremony.