The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree made a whistle stop in Salem on Tuesday as it continues its 3,000-mile journey to Washington, D.C.
The truck transporting the noble fir will be parked at the Oregon State Capitol from 10 a.m. to noon. The free family event included photo opportunities with Smokey Bear and J.R. Beaver, the Oregon State Parks mascot, and a choral performance.
Spectators will got a chance to sign one of the 50-foot-long banners on each side of the trailer.
The tradition of the Capitol Christmas Tree, or "The People’s Tree," began in 1964 when Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John W. McCormack (D-MA) placed a live Christmas tree on the Capitol lawn. This tree lived three years before succumbing to wind and root damage.
In 1970, the Capitol Architect asked the U.S. Forest Service to provide a Christmas tree. Since then, a different national forest has been chosen each year to provide "The People’s Tree." This national forest also works with state forests to provide companion trees that are smaller Christmas trees for offices in Washington, D.C.
The Willamette National Forest in Oregon was chosen to provide the 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree and will travel on a cross-country route in November to reach the East Coast.
Follow the journey here
The tree will follow a more than 3,000-mile journey that commemorates the second inspiration - 175th anniversary of the Oregon Trail, following a reverse path of the trail. A series of festive events will be hosted by local communities at museums, main streets, city halls, state capitols, markets, retailers, high schools, and even a parade. Attendees will have the chance to sign banners on the sides of the truck to wish the tree well, learn more about the Willamette National Forest and the great state of Oregon, purchase U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree merchandise and more.
Host communities include:
Friday, Nov. 9: Sweet Home High School, 1641 Long St, Sweet Home, OR 97386 (12:00 p.m. Street Fair, 6:00 p.m. Parade and 7:30 p.m. Program) (Download flyer)
Saturday, Nov. 10: Linn County Circuit Court, 300 SW Fourth Avenue, Albany, OR 97321 (10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.) (Download press release)
Saturday, Nov. 10: Cabela’s, 2800 Gateway Street, Springfield, OR 97477 (4:00 – 5:30 p.m.)
Sunday, Nov. 11: McKenzie Bridge Ranger Station, 57600 McKenzie Hwy, Blue River, OR 97413 (10:30 – 11:30 a.m.)
Sunday, Nov. 11: 48257 E. 1st , Oakridge, OR 97463 (2:30 – 4:30 p.m.) (Download flyer)
Monday, Nov. 12: 450 SW Powerhouse Dr., Ste 422, Bend, OR 97702 (11:00- 1:00 p.m.) (Visit website)
Monday, Nov. 12: 160 Detroit Ave, Detroit, OR 97342 (5:00 – 7:00 p.m.)
Tuesday, Nov. 13: Oregon State Capitol, 900 Court St NE, Salem, OR 97301(10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.)
Tuesday, Nov. 13: Oregon City, OR, 1726 Washington St. Oregon City, OR 97045 (5:00 - 6:30 p.m.)
Wednesday, Nov. 14: The Dalles City Hall, 313 Court Street, The Dalles, Oregon 97058 (9:00 – 10:00 a.m.)
Wednesday, Nov. 14: 2101 Main Street, Baker City, OR 97814 (5:30-6:30 p.m.)
Friday, Nov. 16: City Hall, 911 North 7th Avenue, Pocatello, ID 83201 (9:00 – 10:00 a.m.)
Saturday, Nov. 17: Ft. Bridger State Historic Site, 37001 Business Loop I-80 Fort Bridger, WY 82933 (9:00 – 10:00 a.m.)
Sunday, Nov. 18: Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site, 975 Snowy Range Road, Laramie, WY 82070 (9:00 – 10:00 a.m.)
Sunday, Nov. 18: Scottsbluff, NE including parade route from 23rd St. to 17th Street on Broadway and ceremony on the 1700 block of Broadway (6:00-7:00 p.m.) (View press here)
Monday, Nov. 19: Otoe County Courthouse, 110 South 11th, Nebraska City, NE 68410 (6:00 – 7:00 p.m.) (View press here)
Tuesday, Nov. 20: Perry - Lecompton Middle School, 408 Lecompton Rd, Perry, KS 66073 (12:00 – 2:00 p.m.)
Tuesday, Nov. 20: Union Station, 30 W. Pershing Road, Kansas City, MO 64108 (3:00 – 5:00 p.m.)
Wednesday, Nov. 21: Independence Uptown Market, 211 W. Truman Rd, Independence, MO 64050 (9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.)
Thursday, Nov. 22: 2018 Ameren Thanksgiving Day Parade, 7th Street and Market Street, St. Louis, MO (8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.) (Visit website)
Friday, Nov. 23: City of Harrison, 100 Harrison Avenue, Harrison, OH 45030 (4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.)
Sunday, Nov. 25: Andrews Air Force Base, 1500 Perimeter Rd. Joint Base Andrews, MD (11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.)
*The locations of stops are subject to change. All times are approximate and do not account for unforeseen weather and traffic delays. Monitor website for latest updates.