Every 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. The Willamette National Forest in partnership with nonprofit partner Choose Outdoors and Travel Oregon will bring this special gift from Oregon to Washington, D.C. for the 2018 season, involving more than 25 communities along the way including an appearance in Oregon City, November 13, 5 p.m. at the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, 1726 Washington St. Oregon City, OR 97045.
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. In November, the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree will travel eastward from Oregon on the reverse path of the Oregon Trail. The 3,000-mile expedition will include a series of community celebrations and culminate with the official tree lighting in early December. Smaller companion trees also will be provided to decorate offices inside of the U.S. Capitol building and other sites throughout Washington, D.C., along with 10,000 handmade ornaments created by Oregonians.
Festivities during the tree’s visit to the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center on November 13 will include comments from Oregon City Commission and Board Members of the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, activities include live music and refreshments in the Visitor Center. This event is open to the public and free for all to enjoy.
Capitol Christmas Tree visitors are encouraged to bring donations of peanut butter, canned meats, canned fruit, soup, cereal, granola/snack bars and personal hygiene items for the Clackamas Community College Cougar Cave food pantry. According to a 2106 study by the College and University Food Bank Alliance, 25 percent of community college students are food insecure. The Cougar Cave is a free pantry that offers food, clothes, school supplies and toiletries for CCC students.
“All year we’ve commemorated the 175th Anniversary of the Oregon Trail as Oregon City was the end point of the journey for thousands of pioneers, risk-takers, and those that gambled everything for a new life. It is an honor to have the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree in Oregon City as it makes its journey east to Washington, D.C.,” said Oregon City Mayor, Dan Holladay. “Oregon City community service groups have been hard at work creating ornaments that will help adorn the tree and bring a bit of the Pacific Northwest to Washington.”
The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is made possible with cash and in-kind contributions from companies large and small as well as volunteers locally and across America, who provide vital support of time and resources.
“We are grateful to the host cities such as Oregon City who play a vital part of bringing the tree across the country and this annual celebration”, said Bruce Ward, President, Choose Outdoors.
For more information on the Oregon City event, visit http://bit.ly/capitaltreeinoc