A 3,000 mile journey now complete, the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree was lit by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) in a special ceremony on the Capitol’s West Lawn.
The 80-foot Nobile Fir, which originated in the Willamette National Forest in Oregon, was decorated with thousands of LED lights and ornaments made by Oregon residents. Joining Speaker Ryan in lighting the tree was Brigette Harrington, a fourth grader from Hillsboro, Ore., who won an essay contest on the beauty of the Beaver State.
The Capitol Christmas tree was transported across the country by Central Oregon Truck Company using a new Kenworth W990 tractor, following the historic Oregon Trail. Along the way, the tree made more than 25 stops for community events.
The tradition of the Capitol Christmas Tree goes back to 1964, when then-U.S. Speaker of the House John W. McCormack planted a live tree on the Capitol lawn. The tree lived only three years before dying, but in 1970, the Architect of the Capitol asked the U.S. Forest Service to provide a Christmas tree from a different national forest each year.
“This is Kenworth’s fifth consecutive year of participating in the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Tour,” said Kurt Swihart, Kenworth marketing director. “This very special tradition and celebration brings communities together. It was especially significant to provide a new Kenworth W990 to transport the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree to its destination.”