Capitol Christmas Tree Visits Paducah
By West Kentucky Star Staff
PADUCAH, KY - The U.S. Capitol Christmas tree drew large and appreciative crowds while it was on display Monday and Tuesday in Noble Park.

Hundreds of school children, parents, local officials and well wishers flocked to the specially decorated trucks and trailers, as members of the U.S. Forestry Service told the visitors all the details about the tree's origin and journey.

They got a peek at the 80-foot Engleman spruce through display windows at the back end of the trailer, and kids signed their names on banners attached to the sides of the truck.

Tuesday morning, dozens of school buses brought groups to see the tree, and some students sang and performed on the parking lot between Noble Park and its baseball fields.

Following the event, the tree and its entourage left for Nashville's Opry Mills mall.

The tree rolled into Paducah on Monday, and Paducah Power commemorated the arrival at their opening ceremony Monday night to turn on the Noble Park Christmas lights. Guests walked through the light display with no traffic until 7 pm. After that, a steady stream of vehicles drove through the park, with some asking where they could see the Christmas tree.

The tree's 2,000-mile long journey began on November 2, when it was cut down in Idaho's Payette National Forest. It paraded around its home state for a few weeks, then left Idaho for stops in Utah, Colorado, and Missouri before it reached Paducah.

The last legs of the journey will include Nashville, Knoxville and Virginia until it is temporarily stored at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. The tree will be erected and decorated on the west lawn of the Capitol building in early December.

The truck and tree were accompanied on its journey by the "Great Big Idaho Potato Truck," which is hauling a 28-foot long, six ton fiberglass Russet potato. The hollow potato carried over 8,000 Christmas decorations made by Idaho schoolchildren for the Capitol tree, as well as about 70 other companion trees from the Payette forest. 

The Capitol tree tradition began over 50 years ago. This is the second tree to come from Idaho. Last year's tree was a 74-foot spruce from Alaska.

On the Net:

Capitol Christmas Tree itinerary
Paducah Parks webpage for Capitol Christmas tree visit
Facebook page for Capitol Christmas Tree

Published 11:52 AM, Tuesday Nov. 22, 2016
Updated 06:07 AM, Wednesday Nov. 23, 2016

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