ELKINS, W.Va. (WBOY) — Each year, a different national forest provides a tree to light up the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol building for the holiday season. on Saturday, the 63-foot-tall Norway Spruce that was harvested in the Monongahela National Forest made a stop in Elkins.
The spruce tree will make several stops on its journey to Washington, D.C. with a series of outdoor community celebrations before being delivered to the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 17, where it will be decorated with handmade ornaments specially created by West Virginians. Festivities during the tree’s visit to Elkins included a short parade with the 100-ft tree trailer that started on Randolph Avenue and turned onto Third Street in downtown Elkins. The parade included law enforcement, dignitaries, “Elfkins” Elves, and a local school band.
“It’s a huge honor this is the third time that we’ve had a tree come off of the Monongahela National Forest and so it’s a really great way to highlight the State of West Virginia, and all of the people that have created thousands of ornaments that adore the tree this holiday season,” said Amy Albright, the Project Manager of the 2023 U.S. Capital Christmas Tree.
Once the tree was situated on Railroad Avenue by the Train Depot, there were remarks made by government officials as well as treats and hot chocolate, music, and children’s activities. Onlookers received small U.S. and West Virginia flags, provided by Our Town, Inc., to wave as the bands and tree went by.
“Each of the communities are planning special events and they’re gonna have all kinds of different fun things for people to do. So, Elkins may not be close to where you live or it may be, but will be traveling to all kinds of different different locations,” said Tina White, the Public Information Officer for the 2023 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree.
Albright said that the very first tree provided by a national forest for the U.S. Capital Christmas Tree was a Norway spruce that came from the Greenbrier Ranger District in 1970.