The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Annette Shacklett
LOG Editor 

Seward's Christmas tree lit in Washington D.C.


Terri Marceron | For The LOG

The Lutz Spruce from Chugach National Forest near Seward is decorated for Christmas on the U.S. Capitol lawn.

The Lutz spruce cut near Seward in October and hauled across the country, was decorated and lit at the U.S. Capitol last week.

A contingent of Alaskans attended the lighting ceremony on the west front lawn of the Capitol in Washington D.C. on Dec. 2.

The 90-year-old 74-foot tree was cut in the Chugach National Forest at a spot just off the highway between Seward and Moose Pass at the end of October. After several celebrations of the tree in Alaska, it was barged to Tacoma where it was loaded onto a specially fitted flatbed rig and driven to Washington D.C. A trip of over 4,400 miles.

This was the 50th tree in a succession of "The People's Tree" to come from a state in the union. It is the first from Alaska.

The tree is decorated with more than 4,000 ornaments – most of them made by Alaskans for the tree. It is covered in LED lights.

Terri Marceron | For The LOG

The Christmas tree from Seward is lit Dec. 2 at Washington D.C.

At dusk Dec. 2, master of ceremonies and Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers stepped to the podium. The festive music from the United States Army Band faded and the ceremony began. "I want to thank everyone involved in supporting the 2015 Capitol Christmas Tree. This incredible tree and the thousands of handmade ornaments on it are a treasured gift to us from the people of Alaska," he said.

Attending the ceremony were all of Alaska's Congress members – Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Sen. Dan Sullivan and Rep. Don Young. Gov. Bill Walker and members of his family were there. Also at the ceremony was the man who drove the tree across the country, John Shank.

Anna Devolld, a school girl from Soldotna, made the trip after winning an essay contest in which entrants explained why a Christmas tree from Alaska is special. Sen. Murkowski sponsored the essay contest.

After speeches were given, Devolld joined Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to flip the switch on the Christmas tree's lights.


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