Thursday, November 6, 2014

U.S. Capitol Christmas tree to visit Northern Star Base Camp

The 2014 U.S. Capitol Christmas tree, cut from the Chippewa National Forest last week, will make a stop at the Northern Star Council’s Boy Scout Base Camp at Fort Snelling on Saturday, Nov. 8, on its way to Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Forest Service, in partnership with Choose Outdoors and the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, is bringing the tree from north-central Minnesota to the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol for the holiday season.

The tree will be at the Boy Scout Base Camp at 201 Bloomington Road, Fort Snelling, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Joining the U.S. Forest Service are DNR Assistant Commissioner Barb Naramore, Minnesota Christmas Tree Growers Association, Boy and Girl Scouts of America, City of Lakes Rotary Club, Salvation Army and special appearances by Smokey Bear and Santa Claus.

The tree will be on display outdoors, while indoor festivities will include ornament decorating, wreath-making demonstrations, cookie decorating, archery and rock climbing (for a small fee), tree cutting permits, balsam bough harvesting information and more. Food donations will be collected to benefit the Neighborhood Food Shelf. A short program will take place at 4:30 p.m. The event is free to attend, with a small charge only for adventure activities hosted by the Northern Star Council.

The tree was cut during a public ceremony Oct. 29, sent to Bemidji State University, where it was prepared for the nearly 2,000-mile cross-country expedition. The tree – an 88-foot white spruce – left the Chippewa National Forest followed by a caravan of caretakers for the journey to the U.S. Capitol, where the official tree lighting will take place in early December. The tree will make more than 30 stops on its way across the country.

For news, updates, tour information and to track the tree cross-country, visit