national christmas treePADUCAH, Ky. (11/15/16) — Paducah Parks Services in cooperation with several community and regional partners is hosting the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree.

The tree will arrive at Noble Park on Monday, Nov. 21 and will stay until Tuesday, Nov. 22. The tree will be in the parking lot next to the baseball fields.

The 80–foot Engelmann Spruce was cut earlier this month near McCall, Idaho. Its stop in Paducah is part of its 3,000-mile trek from Payette National Forest to Washington, D.C. Once the tree is set up on the lawn of the Capitol, it will be decorated with thousands of ornaments created by Idahoans. It will be officially lit on Dec. 6.

To kick off the Capitol Christmas Tree celebration in Paducah, Paducah Power System is holding a lighting ceremony for Christmas in the Park on Nov. 21 at 5:30 p.m. in front of Noble Park Pool. After the lighting ceremony, folks will be able to Walk Under the Lights as Noble Park will be closed to vehicular traffic until 7 p.m. Everyone also is encouraged to visit the Capitol Christmas Tree and sign the banner that is travelling with it during this time. The banner will be displayed as part of the holiday exhibit in Washington, D.C.

On Tuesday, Nov. 22, bring the family or school groups to Noble Park from 9 until 11 a.m. for a free event. During those two hours, folks can sign the banner travelling with the tree and meet and greet Woodsy Owl, Santa Claus, and Smokey Bear. The U.S. Forest Service will be providing educational programs about trees and wildlife. Plus, the Idaho Potato Truck will be on display. Music will be provided by Paducah Tilghman and McCracken County High School students.

Recreation Specialist Taylor Morsching says, “We encourage everyone to come out and view the tree and sign the banner since this could be a once in a lifetime opportunity. In addition to the tree, there will be plenty more to see and do for people of all ages. It will make for a fun atmosphere and get everyone ready for the holiday season that is almost here.”

Community and regional partners hosting the event include Choose Outdoors, Friends of Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, Paducah Bank, Paducah Civic Beautification Board, Paducah Convention and Visitors Bureau, Paducah Parks Services, Paducah Power System, Shawnee National Forest, and U.S. Forest Service.

The tradition of the Capitol Christmas Tree began in 1964 when Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John W. McCormack (D-MA) planted a live Christmas tree on the Capitol lawn. This tree lived three years and inspired the concept of The People’s Tree. The U.S. Forest Service was then asked to provide a Christmas tree for each holiday season. Each year since then, the U.S. Forest Service has selected and delivered a tree for the lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

To learn more and track the tree along its route, visit www.capitolchristmastree.com or follow it on Facebook. For more information, contact Paducah Parks Services at (270) 444-8508 or visit www.paducahky.gov.

SurfKY News
Information provided by Pam Spencer

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