For more than 50 years, a Christmas tree has graced the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol for the holiday season.
The Payette National Forest in partnership with nonprofit Choose Outdoors will bring this special gift from Idaho to Washington, D.C. for the 2016 season, involving more than 25 communities along the way, including appearances in Grangeville, Lapwai, and Moscow.
In Grangeville, the tree will stop at Grangeville Air Center, 111 Airport Road, on Wednesday, Nov. 9, from 3 to 5 p.m.
The tree will stop in Lapwai on Thursday, Nov. 10, at the Nez Perce National Historical Park, 39063 Highway 95, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.
The tree will also stop in Moscow on Nov. 10 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the U of I Kibbie Dome parking lot, 709 S Deakin Street).
The tree will be cut on Nov. 2 near McCall and prepared for the 2,000-mile expedition. With great fanfare, the tree will leave the Payette National Forest followed by a caravan of caretakers for the journey to the U.S. Capitol. 25 community celebrations are being planned throughout the tour, culminating with the official tree lighting in early December.
Smaller companion trees also will be provided by the Idaho Christmas Tree Growers to decorate offices inside of the U.S. Capitol building and other sites throughout Washington, D.C., along with 8,000 ornaments designed and created by residents throughout the state of Idaho.
Various festivities are planned at each location and include the Idaho Potato Commission and appearances by Smokey Bear and Joe Vandal. Activities are open to the public and free for all to enjoy.