Christmas tree tour to make a stop in Suffolk

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

Christmas is coming early to Suffolk this year.

The Virginia-grown National Holiday Tree, on a 34-city tour through the state enroute to Washington, D.C., will be in Suffolk from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Friday. The tree will also make stops in Virginia Beach and Norfolk.

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Residents will able to get a glimpse of the 70-foot evergreen at the park outside the Suffolk Seaboard Station Railroad Museum.

To celebrate this event, the Suffolk Division of Tourism is hosting the &uot;National Holiday Tree Concert,&uot; with holiday music performed by several Suffolk elementary and middle school bands and choirs. The concert is free to the public.

The tourism department is also collecting canned and non-perishable food items for local shelters and food banks at the event.

The tree – a 60- to 70-foot evergreen selected months ago from one of the state’s national forests – ultimately will stand on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol, decorated with more than 5,000 ornaments made by school children, organizations and individuals across the state.

It will travel to Suffolk on a large flatbed and comes complete with its own security team, said Theresa Earles, spokesman for the tourism department.

It will be encased in a tent-like structure equipped with lighting to allow a look inside.

Some 60 to 70 smaller trees from across the state will be distributed among Washington House and Senate office buildings and other government offices as a gift from the people of Virginia.