Hauling the Capitol Christmas Tree from the Oregon Trail to the Capitol Steps

In Early November 2018 we will kick-off the 3,000 mile journey of ‘The People’s Tree’ from Sweet Home, Oregon to the West Lawn of the Capital Building in Washington, D.C., with a public tree lighting ceremony in Early December.  Brigette Harrington, a fourth grader at Jackson Elementary School in Hillsboro, Oregon, will be flying to Washington, D.C., to join the U.S. Speaker of the House in lighting the 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree during the official ceremony. 

“It is an honor to be selected to carry the 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas tree and to represent the great state of Oregon during the tree’s journey to Washington, D.C.,” said Rick Williams, Chief Executive Officer, Central Oregon Truck Company. “Hauling this precious cargo and the joy it brings to Americans across the country will certainly be one of the most memorable loads of my lifetime.”

Central Oregon Truck will hook up to the 80 foot trailer designed for the once-a-year journey of the Capitol Christmas Tree with a beautiful, custom-wrapped Kenworth W990. The wrap is designed by Kenworth. The wrap design is unique each year and incorporates themes of the trucking company, the state, and the Christmas tree.  The Kenworth design team sets a high-bar with the tractor wraps as seen on past year designs.

The Tree and It’s Journey

For the first time ever, the 80-foot tall Capitol Christmas Tree is a noble fir.  The Capitol Christmas Tree last came from Oregon in 2002.  Each tree is evaluated for a variety of desired characteristics, including being 65 to 85 feet tall, having a straight stem, uniform branching, a perfectly conical shape, natural density and rich green color. The tree candidates included both Douglas and Noble firs, the two most iconic conifer species in both the Willamette and Oregon. Other factors included the tree’s accessibility by crane and semi-truck when it’s cut.  Upwards of 70 smaller companion trees will also be sent from the Willamette for government buildings and public spaces in Washington, D.C. Oregonians have already created nearly 2,000 large, weatherproof handmade ornaments for the Capitol Christmas Tree and 10,000 smaller handmade ornaments for the companion trees.

A modern-day wagon train carrying the Christmas tree and ornaments will begin its eastward journey from Sweet Home, following the path of the Oregon Trail in reverse. The wagon train will make stops in a variety of communities across Oregon and the country before arriving in Washington, D.C. The travel route, schedule and special events are posted on the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Facebook page.  Additional tour information is available at www.capitolchristmastree.com.

We would love to see your pictures of 2018 Central Oregon Truck Company Capital Christmas Tree Tractor as you join us for the journey.  Be sure to tag #drivecotc and #centraloregontruck.

Kenworth and Papé Kenworth Create a Christmas Miracle

Kenworth Truck Company is a fifth-year sponsor of the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree program. A specially-decaled Kenworth truck will transport the 54th U.S. Capitol Christmas tree.

“Kenworth is proud to once again play a part of delivering the ‘People’s Tree’ to our nation’s Capitol,” said Kurt Swihart, Kenworth marketing director. “The cross-country tour offers the opportunity for people to see this national symbol of celebration, and a Kenworth is the right truck for this important job.”

Eugene-based Papé Kenworth is the presenting sponsor of the 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree program. Founded in 1938, Papé is a fourth-generation, family-owned business with more than 90 locations and 2,700 team members. Papé serves the capital equipment needs of the trucking, construction, forestry, agriculture, warehousing, and material handling industries throughout the West.

“We are thrilled to help bring the 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree program to life,” said Susie Papé, Board Chair of The Papé Group Inc. Dave Laird, President of Papé Kenworth added, “We look forward to being a part of this annual year-long celebration and sharing a piece of Oregon heritage with the nation.”

Read more about the Capitol Christmas Tree.