The Nation's Capitol Tree
The Nation's Holiday Tree is stopped in Tell City for an hour-long celebration on Thanksgiving afternoon at 1:00 pm, at City Hall. This 70-foot Douglas-fir from Oregon is colorfully wrapped in plastic and displayed on a 70-foot trailer pulled by a log truck. The tree will be traveled across the United States by way of the historic Appiegate and Oregon Trails. Tell City is one of fifty towns along the route that will host special events to celebrate the travel east.
The Holiday Tree Program featured a troupe of 11 singers sharing Oregon Lore through songs and skits. The 30-member group representing Oregon gave away 200 bags of information about the Capital Holiday Tree, the Umpqua National Forest and about Oregon. The team will also handed out Douglas-fir seed packets for people to grow their own Douglas-fir trees.
This is the first year that the Nation's Capitol Tree has come from Oregon. The tradition of placing the Holiday Tree on the West Lawn of the Nation's Capitol began in 1964, when a live tree was purchased and planted on the Capitol grounds. By 1969, the original tree had perished as a result of environmental stress, and the tradition of the U.S. Forest Service providing the Capitol Holiday Tree began. The tree is known as the "People's Tree," since every year it comes from a different forest in the country, representing a different community. The 6,000 ornaments that adorn the Holiday Tree are handmade by the people in the community where the tree came from, reflecting each region's culture and natural resources.
On December 12, 2002 Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert illuminated the 10,000 lights on the Douglas fir as thousands of people watched, nationwide.