CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Capitol Christmas Tree was harvested from the Monongahela National Forest and is set to arrive at the US Capitol on Friday.
On its way east, the tree has been on a bit of a celebrity tour, beginning in Elkins as part of 14 stops in the Mountain State.
The last West Virginia stop is in the Eastern Panhandle before it makes its way to its final destination at the Capitol.
On Wednesday, the tree will make a stop at the Harpers Ferry Job Corps Center from 12 noon to 2 p.m.
The 63-foot high Norway Spruce cut from the forest in Randolph County is scheduled to arrive at Joint Base Andrews on Thursday before heading to the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building on Friday, Nov. 17.
Metronews caught up with the two men driving the tree on its tour.
Drivers for Werner, Tim Dean and Jesus Davila, have been with the tree since it was harvested and have been transporting it throughout the state. Using two-way radios, Dean and Davila work together when the delivery zones are tight in urban areas to safely position the tree for each event.
“I achieved five million miles of accident-free driving. so that contributed to selecting me as one of two drivers to move this precious cargo from West Virginia to the United States Capitol,” Dean said.
Project Manager for the 2023 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree project, Amy Albright, said their staff combed nearly one million acres in Monongahela National Forest to pinpoint the 63-foot-tall Norway Spruce.
“They were looking for trees that were 60 to 80 feet tall, perfectly cone-shaped, full branches, straight stems, and pretty from 360 degrees because they get placed in the middle of the U.S. Capitol lawn and can be viewed from all angles,” Albright said.