U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree to Visit Independence during 2018 Tour

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October 15, 2018
U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree to Visit Independence during 2018 Tour
“People’s Tree” will make cross-country journey from Oregon to Washington D.C.
INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – 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 Independence on Wednesday, Nov. 21, at 9 a.m. in the Independence Uptown Market.

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 Independence on November 21 will include remarks by Mayor Eileen Weir, a visit with Santa, ornament making, hot cocoa bar, light refreshments and more. Activities are open to the public and free for all to enjoy.

 “We are excited to join cities along the Oregon Trail as we celebrate the 175th anniversary of the trail and its place in history,” Mayor Weir said. “I cannot think of a better reason to gather during the holiday season than looking back on the event that brought so many to our community and set us on the course for who we are today. I am excited to see the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree and share this unique event with our community.”

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 Independence 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 Independence event, visit facebook.com/CityofIndependence. For related U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree news, events, and to track the tree cross-country, visit www.capitolchristmastree.com, along with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About the Willamette National Forest
With over 1.5 million acres, the Willamette National Forest is home to eight wilderness areas, including the popular Three Sisters Wilderness and Mt. Jefferson Wilderness, a variety of backpacking and day hiking opportunities, waterfalls, wildflowers, mountain biking trails, boating, swimming and much more! The varied landscape of high mountains, narrow canyons, cascading streams, and wooded slopes offers excellent opportunities for visitors. We hope this yearlong Capitol Christmas Tree event inspires people to explore the Willamette National Forest. The logo captures the beauty of the State of Oregon and the Willamette National Forest, with its snowcapped mountain, fields of green and lush forests. The trail leading to the tree symbolizes the adventurous spirit of Oregonians. The logo encourages modern-day adventurers to #FindYourTrail on the Willamette National Forest.
About the U.S. Forest Service
The mission of the U.S. Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity
and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land; provides assistance to state and private landowners; and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. For more information, see www.fs.fed.us.

About Choose Outdoors
Choose Outdoors works to increase all American's enjoyment, appreciation
and support for outdoor recreation activities that connect them to our public lands. These connections will ensure that our public lands will always be there for future generations to cherish. www.chooseoutdoors.org.

Meg Lewis, Public Information Officer

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