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Peoples Tree Stopping In Oakdale
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The details haven’t been finalized yet but it’s official, The People’s Tree will be making a stop in Oakdale on Nov. 8 with a special ornament celebration.

Early in December each year, the Speaker of the House hosts a lighting ceremony on the lawn of the United States Capitol Building and with a simple flip of a switch, powers the 10,000 LED lights that illuminate the tree. Hundreds of people who are fortunate enough to be in D.C. attend the lighting ceremony and many thousands more will find their way to the Capitol to take in the sight.

Since 1970, it has become an honor for one of the National Forests to be asked to provide the Capitol Tree. The appointed National Forest, in turn, engages help from diverse partners throughout its respective State. The opportunity to provide the Capitol Christmas Tree becomes a statewide celebration and civic event, leaving a lasting impression on all who are fortunate enough to be involved.

2011 will be only the fourth year California has contributed the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, the last time was in 1995. Known as “The People’s Tree,” the 2011 Capitol Christmas Tree will be harvested from the Stanislaus National Forest located in the Central Sierra Nevada Mountains of California.

The Forest Service recommends eight to 10 trees to the superintendent of the Capitol grounds, who makes the final selection of which tree will be the official U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. Several aspects are taken into account during the selection, including the shape and fullness of the tree, the tree color and foliage condition, and species characteristics of needle retention and branch pliability. Of course, access to the tree for ease of cutting, loading, and transporting are also considered.

It is estimated that the tree selected will be approximately 60 feet tall. Imagine a six-story tall building—that is about how tall the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree will be.

An additional 100 companion trees will be delivered to the Washington D.C. area and placed in federal offices, congressional and senate offices, the National American Indian Museum, and the United States Supreme Court.

In January 2012, when the holiday concludes, the tree will be chipped into mulch and placed throughout the Capitol Complex.

Ramona Howard, a local woman who is very excited to get the ball rolling said, “They have a handmade tree ornament program and we really want every child, group, church, etc. to be allowed to participate. We are asking that they make two identical ornaments. One for the Capitol’s tree and one for Oakdale’s.”

For a list of ornament guidelines, go to the Capitol Christmas Tree website at


Tree Lighting Ceremony

Young Californians, between the ages of 5 and 17 are eligible to enter a drawing to win an all-expense paid trip for him/herself and an accompanying parent or guardian to Washington, D.C. participating in the 2011 Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in early December.

The 2011 U. S. Capitol Christmas Tree will be illuminated by a child from the state of California along with the Speaker of the House, John Boehner. The California Congressional Delegation, Senators Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, and California Governor Jerry Brown will also likely be in attendance.

Once the tree is lit, it is open for public viewing throughout the holidays until Jan. 1, 2012. The lights come on at dusk and are turned off nightly at 11 p.m.

Only one entry per person.

Must be postmarked by Sept. 30.


Art Contest

Traditionally, the official Capitol Christmas Tree artwork is presented to the Chief of the Forest Service but in this case the artwork will be presented to the Oakdale City Council to hang in either the Council Chambers or City Hall. The winning pieces will hang for a period of one year.

“California Shines” Artists are encouraged to consider the theme as well as “how Oakdale is unique” to conceptualize the vision of a 60-foot tall California Christmas Tree destined for the Nation’s Capitol.

• Open to all artists.

• Any medium may be used (including but not limited to: acrylics, oil, watercolor, textile, metals, photography, and stained glass).

• Finished artwork should be between 25-35 inches high by 20-30 inches wide.

• Finished artwork may be framed or unframed, but must be designed to hang on a wall.

• The winning artist/s must agree to allow the city the right to reproduce the work

• Artwork can begin being received at City Hall between Oct. 3 and no later than Oct. 12.

• Please make sure full name and phone number are on the back of all artwork

• One entry per person

Check website frequently for entry form details, which will be coming soon.

A panel of jurors will review submissions and select artwork for the following use:

• Display in City buildings

• Holiday Greeting Cards. A selection of artworks will be reproduced on note or holiday cards. Information about the artist will be printed on the back of the cards.

The selected artwork will be reproduced to create a calendar. Information about the artists will be printed on the calendar.

These items will be made available for all residents as downloadable digital files.