MEEKER | Students from 56 schools across the country, including Meeker High School, have designed one-of-a-kind ornaments for the 2020 National Christmas Tree display on the Ellipse in President’s Park. These unique ornaments will adorn 56 smaller trees that surround the National Christmas Tree. The trees represent each U.S. state, territory and the District of Columbia as part of the America Celebrates ornament display. This year, several ornaments from each school will also be displayed inside the White House.
The America Celebrates ornament program is a collaboration of the National Park Service (NPS), the U.S. Department of Education and the National Park Foundation (NPF). The U.S. Department of Education worked through state art and education offices, which identified elementary, middle and high schools to participate in the America Celebrates program. The project is funded by the NPF.
From state flowers to notable landmarks, students created ornaments that celebrate their state, district or territory.
The America Celebrates display is one of the highlights of the National Christmas Tree experience. We’ll share the virtual National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 3 at thenationaltree.org. This year’s show will feature the recorded lighting of the National Christmas Tree, holiday performances and more. Due to COVID-19-related public health concerns, the NPS and NPF will not host a live audience this year. The show will be available to stream on-demand throughout the holiday season.
You’re invited to view the National Christmas Tree and the 56 state, district and territory trees and their ornaments up close daily from Dec. 1 through Jan. 1, 2021.
The National Christmas Tree Lighting has strong ties to education. In 1923, a letter arrived at the White House from the District of Columbia Public Schools proposing that a decorated Christmas tree be placed on the South Lawn of the White House. On Christmas Eve that year, President Calvin Coolidge walked from the Oval Office to the Ellipse and pushed a button that lit the first National Christmas Tree. It was a 48-foot balsam fir donated by Middlebury College in Vermont.
Since 1973, the National Christmas Tree has been a living tree which can be viewed year-round in President’s Park — one of America’s 422 national parks! A 30-foot Colorado blue spruce currently serves as the National Christmas Tree.
For more event information and updates, please visit www.thenationaltree.org or follow President’s Park on Facebook or Twitter.
Special to The Herald Times