WILLIAMSPORT Md. (WDVM)– Christmas came a little early this year to the Town of Williamsport as the United States Capitol Christmas Tree made its final public appearance.
Every year, a tree is picked from one of the forests here in the states that will appear on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol for the holiday season. This year the tree, “Sugar Bear,” was picked from the Six Rivers National Forest in Northern California.
And Tuesday, November 16, was the first time the tree made its appearance in the Town of Williamsport.
Bill Green is the Mayor of the town. Green said having the tree in the town for the first time will definitely bring in some holiday cheer.
“It feels wonderful. It’s very nice and I am just grateful for the opportunity,” Green said.
Sugar Bear, also known as the People’s Tree was harvested on October 24th. And started its 10-day journey five days later. The two men who were driving the truck said the journey was at least 4,000 miles. Throughout those miles, the Sugar Bear passed through multiple iconic sites like the Golden Gate Bridge.
Brendon Banwell is the man who cut down the 84 feet tall tree. He said this was the first time he cut down the tree for the Capitol.
“It was really exciting our team put a lot of effort and a lot of work into the whole event come together and being close to the end is a good feeling,” Banwell said.
According to Banwell, it only took them about four minutes to cut down the huge tree. He said they used a chain saw and a crane to safely cut it down. There are many people who go out through the forest to select the trees however, the Architect of the Capitol Staff, gets the final decision on which tree will be selected.
Families came out to see the tree along with signing a huge banner that was presented on the truck.
Santa Claus and Misses Claus, vendors, and hot chocolate were just a few things that people could enjoy.
Mayor Green said this is one way for the town to start getting ready for the holidays.
“Just to start getting ready for Christmas and downtown does feel a lot like Christmas,” Green stated.
Now this most likely will be the last tree that was picked from the Six Rivers National Forest because the forest service picks a different forest to provide the tree each year.
The tree will arrive at the Joint Base Andrews for them to prep the tree before it makes its final and last stop.
It is expected to arrive at the Capitol on Friday, November 19th.