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Gov. Justice to celebrate West Virginia tree heading for display at the U.S. Capitol at event in Charleston

November 5th, 2023 by WCBC Radio

Gov. Jim Justice invited West Virginians to a holiday festival next Tuesday, November 7, to officially send off a 63-foot Norway Spruce from the Monongahela National Forest to the U.S. Capitol. This is the first time in nearly 50 years that a West Virginia tree will be on display in the nation’s capital, and a festival will be hosted in Charleston to commemorate the honor. 


The event will kick off with a parade and will include family-friendly activities showcasing winter offerings from around the state, including ice skating and a light display on the Capitol lawn. The event is free of charge and open to the public.

“This year, the Christmas tree that will be showcased at The Capitol in Washington D.C. is from right here in our great state,” Gov. Justice said. “We have the most beautiful forests in the country, and I’m so proud to see a piece of our state on display in the nation’s capital. Babydog and I look forward to seeing a huge crowd in Charleston next week as we celebrate this honor and kick off the holiday season!”

The event will begin at 5 p.m. as the tree makes its way west on Kanawha Boulevard to the Capitol steps, led in by marching bands from Cabell Midland, Capitol, George Washington, Nitro, Poca and Saint Albans High Schools. Vendors from across the state will be set up along the Boulevard with fun programming for families including ice skating, cookie decorating, a letters to Santa station, extravagant light displays, a bonfire to roast s’mores, winter sport giveaways and more. The U.S. Forest Service will be present with a station for attendees to sign the banner for the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. 

“With such a large portion of our visitors coming from the Washington DC metro area, we are thrilled with yet another opportunity to showcase the beauty of our great state,” Chelsea Ruby, West Virginia Tourism Secretary, said. “And to mark the occasion, we’ve got a great celebration planned in Charleston bringing together folks from around the state to show off our state’s best winter activities.  Don’t miss the never-before opportunity to ice skate in front of the State Capitol and to roast your own s’more on the lawn. We hope you’re able to join us!” 

The 2023 U.S. Capitol Christmas tree is provided by the rugged, 921,000 acre Monongahela National Forest––the first time since 1976 that the tree has come from West Virginia. 2023 will be the third time West Virginia will have the distinction.


After the 2023 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree stops in Charleston, the tour will continue in other locations in the Mountain State. The initiative is made possible with support from the presenting sponsor, 84 Lumber, and with cash and in-kind contributions from companies large and small, along with vital support from volunteers locally and across America.

Once the tree makes its way to the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on Washington D.C., the Architect of the Capitol will be decorating the tree with ornaments and tree skirts handmade from West Virginians. The official tree will be on display to the public in the month of December.

To access high-res images and b-roll of winter scenes and trees in the Monongahela National Forest, click here. Photo credit: West Virginia Department of Tourism.