U.S. CAPITOL TREE to be at Chilhowee Park on Friday, November 22 en route to the White House
KNOXVILLE, TN (Nov. 20, 2019) The annual Christmas at Chilhowee Park and Exposition Center, 3301 E. Magnolia Ave. in East Knoxville, will brighten Knoxville’s historic park earlier than usual this year in order to host an especially tall evergreen guest.
“The People’s Tree” is a 68-year old, 60-foot blue spruce that is making a cross-country tour on its way to the U.S. nation’s Capitol in Washington, D.C. and will make a stop at Chilhowee Park in Knoxville this Friday, Nov. 22, 6-9 p.m.
Only the tip-top of the tree will be visible through a plexiglass cargo window. The rest of the truck is reserved for Americans’ signatures, so you may consider bringing a Sharpie.
Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero will kick off a program at 6 p.m. at the park’s historic bandstand that includes a performance by the Austin-East High School Choir and the lighting of the park’s tree, which will remain in the bandstand throughout the season.
Guests in the park will be given the opportunity to write Christmas cards to members of the U.S. military serving overseas, enjoy activities provided by First Tee, Golden Gloves Arena and Home Depot, roast marshmallows, eat doughnuts, drink hot cocoa, get their faces painted and enjoy rides on the children’s train.
Admission is free, and the kick-off event and viewing of the Capitol tree will happen rain or shine. Santa will meet with guests until the event ends at 9 p.m. The park will continue to be open nightly for self-guided walking and driving tours through Jan. 1, 2020.
The tradition of placing a live Christmas tree on the Capitol lawn began in 1964. In 1970, the U.S. Forest Service began choosing a different national forest to provide the “People’s Tree” for display outside the Capitol. This year’s tree was harvested from New Mexico’s Carson National Forest.p.m.
After making several stops in both small and large New Mexico communities, the tree made its way to Texas on Nov. 15. Over the next few days, it will make stops in Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. According to the Capitol Christmas Tree website, this route may be subject to change.
The tour will visit 30 communities before arriving in D.C. on Nov. 25. People interested in watching the tree’s travel progress can go to www.capitoltreetracker.com.