West Virginia’s Christmas Tree Draws Crowd to U.S. Capitol’s West Lawn

WOAY-TV (Washington, D.C.): The Capitol Christmas Tree harvested from the Monongahela National Forest is attracting hundreds from near and far to Washington.

Every evening after 5:15 p.m., Christmas magic gets under way in the nation’s capital. This magical moment is when the lights to the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree are turned on.

Judy Graham of McLean, Va., said, “It’s such a treat every year to come down here. And, you know, I don’t care how old I am or how many times I’ve been, I want to come every year to photograph.”

For Sean Wang from Baltimore, this year’s Christmas tree had special meaning. “For me, this is the day that I just got engaged. So, Christmas is our favorite holiday, so I couldn’t have thought of a better time. So super stoked to be here in front of the Capitol with the Christmas tree all lit up.”

Christmas ornaments representing each area in West Virginia are showcased on our beautiful Norway spruce, including the New River Gorge National Park.

Ethan Reese is the winner of the 2023 U.S. Capitol essay contest. He is from Randolph County and attends Beverly Elementary.

Merrill asked Reese, “When you first arrived in the west lawn of the capital to read your essay in front of a multitude of people, what was your reaction to this beautiful Norway Spruce that’s behind me?

Reese said, “They did great decorating, including all the LED lights.

Merrill asked Reese what was going through his mind when he started to read his essay in front of a huge crowd during Tuesday’s lighting ceremony. Reese said, “I was like, look, see, this is the big deal.”

Part of Reese’s essay included the following: “I learned that most of our forest was here long ago, but there were many people who help restore our forests. One of those people was my great-great grandfather, who became supervisor of the Monongahela National Forest in 1931.”

Merrill asked Reese about the process for lighting the tree. Reese said that all he had to do was turn on a switch.

Reese was excited to see the Christmas ornament he made for the tree! “I got to see my ornament. It’s blue and in a shape of an ornament, and then it has white dots all over it,” said Reese.

If you still haven’t had a chance to see the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree since the lighting ceremony this past Tuesday, don’t worry, it will be on the west lawn of the Capitol through January 1st.

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