Scottsbluff and Gering have been chosen as two of the 25 Oregon Trail communities that will have the Christmas tree displayed on the U.S. Capitol lawn travel through their towns. The tree is traveling eastward from Oregon on the reverse path of the Oregon Trail in recognition of two 2018 anniversaries: the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System Act and the 175th commemoration of the Oregon Trail.
The Christmas tree will be displayed November 17th and 18th as the official holiday parades and the grand opening of Santa’s Village in the Civic center parking lot are moved up a week to coordinate local holiday festivities with the Christmas tree travel schedule.
The Gering Holiday Parade will be moved up to Saturday, November 17th beginning at 5:00 p.m. in downtown Gering followed by the grand opening of Santa’s Village in the Civic Center Parking Lot at the corner of 10th and N Streets. The Scottsbluff Parade, featuring the U.S. Capitol Tree will take place on Sunday, November 18th with the parade beginning at 6:00 p.m. followed by a program in the 1800 block of Broadway.
A limited number of hand-thrown mugs with the Capitol Tree commemoration made by local artist Rod Clause will be available for sale as well- with specially designed t-shirts commemorating the event. Mug and t-shirt sales will begin on October 1st, and local sponsors include the City of Scottsbluff, Scottsbluff Screen Printing and Der Topfer Art Studio.
“We are honored and excited that the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree will visit Scottsbluff/ Gering on its journey to Washington D.C.,” says Angela Kembel, the Chair of the Scottsbluff Downtown Holiday Parade.
“Our community looks forward to being a part of this gift to the nation and the joy it will bring to our own community this holiday,” added RaNae Garton, the Chair of the Gering Merchants. “We are eager to begin planning and be part of this national event as we work together to showcase our community pride.”