The People’s Tree makes stop in Suffolk on its way to the U.S. Capitol

Published 9:04 pm Monday, November 14, 2022

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Suffolk residents gathered Monday evening to catch a glimpse of the nation’s Christmas tree as it makes its way to Washington, D.C.

Affectionately named Ruby, the tree made its way to the Suffolk’s Visitors Center Nov. 14 where locals gathered to take photos and sign name tags to place on the Kenworth truck to make their mark before it arrives at its destination — the West Lawn at the U.S. Capitol Building.

Suffolk Tours and Development Manager Theresa Earles provided details about the tree and its two visits to Virginia communities.

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“It was harvested from North Carolina and is stopping at two different locations in Virginia on its way to D.C. — the first being Suffolk and the second Chesterfield. We are one of only two spots in the entire state that get to welcome the tree on its way to the Capitol.”

Earles pointed out the significance of the tree arriving in the City of Suffolk

“Whenever you have such a national treasure come to your town or city, it’s a great honor,” she said. “It’s affectionately called ‘The People’s Tree’ and it will be situated in front of the U.S. Capitol in D.C. so just knowing that it gets to come through Suffolk is a chance for folks that may never get to see it in front of the Capitol, they’re going to see it on its way. It’s also a chance for the community to get together and kind of kick off the holidays.”

The tree is a 78-foot tall Red Spruce harvested Nov. 2 from the Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina.

The tour, named “From the Mountains to the Sea” is set to deliver the tree to the Capitol Nov. 18. One in place, it will be decorated for the tree lighting ceremony set for Nov. 30.