From Polk County Itemizer-Observer - Each year a different national forest in the United States is selected to provide a tree to appear on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol for the Christmas season.
This year, for the first time, the tree was chosen from the Willamette National Forest. It's only the second to come from Oregon.
On Nov. 2, the tree was cut and prepared for the more than 3,000-mile journey to Washington, D.C., where it will be lit in an official ceremony, which will occur in early December as determined by the Speaker of the House.
The Sweet Home U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Celebration will take place starting at noon on Nov. 9 at Sweet Home High School, 1651 Long St. Live music, provided by Oregon-based musicians will begin at noon and continue through 5 p.m.
Cathy Cheshire, Markus Thedford, Praise in 3D, and R & R Country Rock Band will perform, and there will be Christmas Star! Karaoke.
Sign-ups for Karaoke will be before 3 p.m.
More than 40 art and craft vendors, some with souvenir items, will be located in the Sweet Home High School cafeteria.
Food & drinks will be available.
A lighted night-time parade will begin at 6 p.m. on Main and Long Streets.
The US Capitol Tree will be the final parade participant. Attendees will have the chance to sign the banner on the sides of the truck to wish the tree well, before it begins its journey to Washington D.C. The Sweet Home Celebration event will finish up with a performance by Cloverdayle at 8 p.m. in the Sweet Home High School Gymnasium.
Event parking with shuttle service to and from the parade and celebration will be available at designated locations around Sweet Home. Watch for reader board signs to direct.
After the celebration event in Sweet Home, the tree will be trucked to the Veterans Parade on Nov. 10 in Albany.
It will then make stops at Cabela's in Springfield, the McKenzie River Ranger Station, Oakridge, Bend, Detroit, the state capitol and Oregon City before heading east on Nov. 14, on its trip across the nation.
The cross-country trek from Sweet Home to Washington will include stops at more than 25 communities across the nation as it follows the reverse path of the Oregon Trail, in recognition of the 175th anniversary of the establishment of the route.
For more information, contact the Sweet Home Chamber of Commerce 541-367-6186.