U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, Holiday Parade & BHE Ice Rink

Mugs and T-Shirts Release
U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Press Release


U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree to Visit Scottsbluff During 2018 Tour
“People’s Tree” will make cross-country journey from Oregon to Washington D.C.

Every year, a different National Forest is selected to provide a tree to appear on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol for the Christmas season. The Willamette National Forest in partnership with nonprofit partner Choose Outdoors and Travel Oregon will bring this special gift from Oregon to Washington, D.C. for the 2018 season, involving more than 25 communities along the way.  Scottsbluff and Gering will be working together to coordinate holiday festivities including coordination and planning of the annual kickoff and moving the official parades and the grand opening of Santa’s Village up one week in order to accommodate the arrival of the U. S. Capitol Christmas Tree.  The tree is scheduled to be featured in the Scottsbluff Downtown Christmas Parade on Sunday, November 18th with special viewing time and program following the parade.

The theme for the 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is “Find Your Trail!” in recognition of two 2018 anniversaries: the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System Act and the 175th commemoration of the Oregon Trail. In November, the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree will travel eastward from Oregon on the reverse path of the Oregon Trail. The 3,000-mile expedition will include a series of community celebrations and culminate with the official tree lighting in early December. Smaller companion trees also will be provided to decorate offices inside of the U.S. Capitol building and other sites throughout Washington, D.C., along with 10,000 handmade ornaments created by Oregonians.

Festivities during the tree’s visit to Scottsbluff-Gering will include the Gering Holiday Parade on Saturday, November 17th beginning at 5:00 p.m. in downtown Gering followed by the grand opening of Santa’s Village in the Civic Center Parking Lot at the corner of 10th and N Streets.  The Scottsbluff Parade, featuring the U.S. Capitol Tree will take place on Sunday, November 18th with the parade beginning at 6:00 p.m. followed by a program in the 1800 block of Broadway.  Smokey Bear and Sparky the Fire Dog will also be making an appearance in the Scottsbluff parade.  The 18th Street Plaza Ice Skating Rink will be open beginning at 3:00 p.m. hosted by Minatare High School and food vendors will be set up in the plaza by 4:00 p.m.  All activities are open for the public to enjoy. 

A limited number of hand-thrown mugs with the Capitol Tree commemoration made by local artist, Rod Clause, will be available for sale as well as specially designed t-shirts commemorating the event.  Mug and t-shirt sales will begin on October 1st with locations to be announced soon.  Local sponsors include the City of Scottsbluff, Scottsbluff Screen Printing and Der Topfer Art Studio.

“We are honored and excited that the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree will visit Scottsbluff-Gering on its journey to Washington, D.C.” said Angela Kembel, Chairperson of the Scottsbluff Downtown Holiday Parade. “Our community looks forward to being a part of this gift to the nation and the joy it will bring to our own community this holiday.”  RaNae Garton, Chairperson of the Gering Merchants said “we are eager to begin planning and be a part of this national event as we work together to showcase our community pride.”

The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is made possible with cash and in-kind contributions from companies large and small as well as volunteers locally and across America, who provide vital support of time and resources.

“We are grateful to the host cities such as Scottsbluff-Gering who play a vital part of bringing the tree across the country and this annual celebration”, said Bruce Ward, President, Choose Outdoors.

For more information on the Scottsbluff and Gering events, visit www.scottsbluff.org or www.gering.org . For related U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree news, events, and to track the tree cross-country, visit www.capitolchristmas tree.com, along with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About the Willamette National Forest
With over 1.5 million acres, the Willamette National Forest is home to eight wilderness areas, including the popular Three Sisters Wilderness and Mt. Jefferson Wilderness, a variety of backpacking and day hiking opportunities, waterfalls, wildflowers, mountain biking trails, boating, swimming and much more! The varied landscape of high mountains, narrow canyons, cascading streams, and wooded slopes offers excellent opportunities for visitors. We hope this yearlong Capitol Christmas Tree event inspires people to explore the Willamette National Forest. The logo captures the beauty of the State of Oregon and the Willamette National Forest, with its snowcapped mountain, fields of green and lush forests. The trail leading to the tree symbolizes the adventurous spirit of Oregonians. The logo encourages modern-day adventurers to #FindYourTrail on the Willamette National Forest.

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.

Angela Kembel                          Starr Lehl                                  Karla Niedan-Streeks

capnco@hotmail.com                 slehl@scottsbluff.org                 karla@visitgering.com

(308) 765-0599                           (308) 630-6213                           (308) 436-6886

Capitol Tree Commemorative T-Shirts and Hand-Thrown Mugs
Available to Order 

            T-shirts and hand-thrown mugs commemorating the arrival of the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree can be ordered in three locations in Scottsbluff with proceeds from the local sales going help raise funds for a permanent twenty foot, LED-lit tree to be displayed in the 18th Street Plaza.

            The limited edition mugs will be thrown and glazed by local artist Rod Clause and have the local logo on the front and a stamp on the bottom with the event name and date.  At a cost of $25, each of the mugs will be unique in shape and hold approximately 12 ounces.  The long-sleeve, red t-shirts are available in sizes from youth extra small to adult 4X and are 100% pre-washed cotton.  Shirts sell for $15 each with an extra charge for XXL-XXXXL.

            The locations to order shirts and mugs are:  Cappuccino and Company, 1703 Broadway, Scottsbluff Screenprinting, 1813 Broadway, and the City of Scottsbluff, 2525 Circle Drive, all in Scottsbluff.

            As a reminder, the cities of Scottsbluff and Gering are coordinating efforts to move both Christmas Parades up one week to accommodate the U.S. Capitol Tree schedule.   The Gering Parade and grand opening of Santa’s Village will take place on Saturday, November 17th beginning at 4:00 p.m. and the Scottsbluff Parade featuring the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree will be Sunday, November 18th beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Capitol Christmas Shirt 2018

Black Hills Energy Ice Rink
Open 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on November 18th 

Hosted by Minatare Public Schools

At the Black Hills Energy Ice Rink
1806 1st Avenue
Scottsbluff, NE 69361

Rent skates for $5.00 at the rental shed
*limited supply of all sizes (12j to 14)*

--FREE if you bring your own ice skates

**Ice rink is synthetic ice**


 Mugs and T-Shirts Release
U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Press Release