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Visit California Supports U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Journey Across America

By Dan Smith 11/04/2021

Visit California is proudly co-sponsoring the cross-country journey of “Sugar Bear,” the 84-foot White Fir tree harvested in Six Rivers National Forest and destined to be this year’s official Christmas Tree at the U.S. Capitol.

In conjunction with the United States Forest Service, Sugar Bear was harvested Oct. 24 and loaded onto a climate-controlled 110-foot tractor-trailer rig. The tradition of harvesting the Capitol Christmas tree from a different National Forest began in 1970. This is the fifth time in 51 years that the tree has hailed from the Golden State.

The tree made 12 stops in California, including the Capitol in Sacramento, before heading east on Nov. 6. Other stops are scheduled in Arizona, New Mexico, Arkansas, Missouri and Maryland before arriving at the Capitol building on Nov. 19.

At a noon hour Nov. 3 ceremony at the state Capitol, Visit California President and CEO Caroline Beteta joined Sen. Mike McGuire, California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot, USFS Regional Forester Jennifer Eberlien , Chairman John Elgin of the Lassic Band of the Wylacki-Wintoon Family Group and the California State University, Sacramento Jazz Choir, in a celebration of the tree.


Caroline Beteta

Beteta noted the theme under which the tree was harvested -- "six rivers, many peoples, one tree" -- syncs with the message Visit California amplifies with visitors.

“This name symbolizes the diversity of the national forest,” she said. “And it also symbolizes the grand diversity we enjoy and celebrate in California. Our message is, All Dreams Welcome, and the people of California – our ambassadors – every one of you here today - prove it every day.”

The event included a sing-along with the jazz choir and special appearances from Santa Claus, Smokey Bear and Woodsy the Owl.

Several events are planned around the tree in Washington D.C. starting Nov. 29 with a welcome reception, followed by a California state breakfast on the Nov. 30 and the tree lighting and congressional reception on Dec. 1.

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