U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree to Visit Knoxville, Tennessee During 2016 Tour
"People's Tree" will make cross-country journey from Idaho to Washington D.C.
Knoxville, TN - For more than 50 years, a Christmas tree has graced the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol for the holiday season. The Payette National Forest, in partnership with nonprofit Choose Outdoors, will bring this special gift from Idaho to Washington, D.C. for the 2016 season, involving more than 25 communities along the way, including an appearance in Knoxville on November 23rd 4pm - 7pm on the Clinch Avenue Viaduct.
The tree will be cut on Nov. 2 near McCall, ID and prepared for the 2,000-mile expedition. With great fanfare, the tree will leave the Payette National Forest followed by a caravan of caretakers for the journey to the U.S. Capitol. A total of 25 community celebrations are being planned throughout the tour, culminating with the official tree lighting in early December. Smaller companion trees will also be provided by the Idaho Christmas Tree Growers to decorate offices inside the U.S. Capitol building and other sites throughout Washington, D.C., along with 8,000 ornaments designed and created by residents throughout the state of Idaho.
If you are planning to attend Fantasy of Trees at the Knoxville Convention Center, stop by to see the tree and enjoy festive treats. Learn more about the tree from the U.S. Forest Service, Choose Outdoors and Partners of the Cherokee National Forest. Smokey Bear, the mascot, will make a special appearance and U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree merchandise will be available for purchase.
"We are honored that the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree will visit Knoxville on its way to Washington, D.C." said Kim Bumpas, President Visit Knoxville. "Our community looks forward to being part of this gift to the nation and the joy it will bring to our own community this holiday."
Associated costs are paid for in part by the U.S. Forest Service, while costs for the tree's transportation and special events are covered by in-kind services, donations and overall support both locally and nationwide, including major 2016 supporters KTVB TV 7, Idaho Potato Growers Association, Skybitz, Kenworth, Hale Trailer, Gary Amoth Trucking, Alaska Airlines, Seid Crane Service, Truckload Carriers Association, Eaton, University of Idaho, Meritor, Bass Pro Shops, and BrINC.
For more information on the Knoxville tour stop, follow us on social media with the hashtag #knoxrocks or @visitknoxville. For related news, events and tour information, and to track the tree cross-country, visit www.capitolchristmastree.com and on Facebook @USCapitolChristmasTree and #capitolchristmastree.
About the Payette National Forest
The Payette National Forest offers the visitor over 2.3 million acres to enjoy. Everything from the deep recesses of Hell's Canyon to peaks reaching elevations of almost 9,500 feet. Dry desert grasslands complement heavily forested acres. Gateways to the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness lead the visitor to experience the solitude of seldom traveled trails. To the west is the Hell's Canyon National Recreation Area, the deepest river gorge in North America. Stand on the canyon's east rim and in some places you gaze down 8,000 feet to the Snake River that carved this canyon. Gaze across the ten-mile wide chasm into the neighboring state of Oregon. Located entirely within Idaho, the Payette NF shares lands with Adams, Idaho, Valley, and Washington Counties. For more information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/payette.
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.