Unearthing Christmas in summer 

Albany Visitors Association blog post about Willamette National Forest 2018 US Capitol Christmas TreeWith summer fast approaching, Christmas arrives early at the Willamette National Forest (WNF) in the Sweet Home Ranger District. Not only is there a special contest to find the US Capitol Christmas Tree (see instructions in the “how to nominate” section below), but the Willamette Valley Visitors Association has hidden 200 glass ornaments along the forest hiking trails for you to find.

If you discover one of the special keepsake ornaments, make sure to register to win one of over 120 prizes. All entrants who submit their ornament tag ID will also be entered into a sweepstakes with a spectacular grand prize: A round trip for two to Washington DC to attend the US Capitol Christmas Tree lighting and festivities.

The ornament treasure-hunt runs now through October 2, 2018.

The theme for the 2018 Capitol Christmas Tree is “Find Your Trail!” in recognition of two 2018 anniversaries: the 50th anniversary of the National Trails Systems Act, and the 175th commemoration of the Oregon Trail. For more information on trails where you can find your ornament, visit the WNF website.

Be the one to find the big tree

Do you want to find the 2018 US Capitol Christmas Tree? You still have time to enter the contest, but the deadline is coming up fast on June 30th. 

Visit the Willamette National Forest and look for a tree 65 to 85 feet in height with conical shape. The tree must reside on US Forest Service land in the Sweet Home Ranger District, preferably close to a road that will accommodate a semi-truck and cranes necessary for harvest. 

The selected tree will be cut in early November and prepared for the 3,000-mile coast-to-coast journey that will trace the Oregon Trail in reverse. The tree’s journey will culminate with its lighting on the west lawn of the US Capitol Building in early December. Seventy smaller companion trees will also be sent from the forest to decorate DC government buildings and public spaces. Additionally, Oregonians will contribute 10,000 handmade ornaments, to be created throughout 2018.

How to nominate your candidate

To nominate a tree, obtain the GPS the location, snap a photo, and send your submission to capitolchristmastree2018@gmail.com, or deliver the information to the Sweet Home Ranger District Office, 4431 Hwy 20, Sweet Home OR 97386.

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