After Stop at Tamarack in Beckley 11-1 Tuesday 11/7/23 , Gov. Justice invites West Virginians to U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Send-Off Festival in Charleston.

Event showcases West Virginia’s winter activities at the State Capitol
CHARLESTON, WV — Gov. Jim Justice today reminds all West Virginians about the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Send-Off festival on Kanawha Boulevard at the West Virginia State Capitol tomorrow, November 7, at 5 p.m. This is the first time in nearly 50 years that a West Virginia tree will be on display in the nation’s capital, and a festival will be hosted at our State Capitol to commemorate the honor.

The event will kick off with a parade and will include family-friendly activities showcasing winter offerings from around the state, including ice skating and a light display on the Capitol lawn. The event is free of charge and open to the public. Free parking will be available across the Capitol Complex and shuttles will be available from Laidley Field.

“We are just so proud to have West Virginia honored at our nation’s capital,” said Gov. Jim Justice. “This festival is a great opportunity to come out and try out some of the amazing things we have available in our state this time of year. It’s going to be a ball, I hope you’ll all join us tomorrow night on the steps of our beautiful State Capitol.”

The festival will begin at 5 p.m. with the grand parade starting shortly thereafter as the tree makes its way west on Kanawha Boulevard to the Capitol steps, led in by marching bands from Cabell Midland, Scott, Herbert Hoover, Capital, George Washington, Nitro, South Charleston, and St. Albans High Schools. Afterwards, the choir from the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind will perform, the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree essay winner, Ethan Reese of Beverly Elementary School, will read his essay. Arden Cogar, an award-winning timbersports competitor, will also showcase a short log-cutting demonstration. Cogar helped to harvest the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree last week. 

High school students at Monongalia County Technical Education Center created a commemorative ornament to mark this special occasion. The ornaments will be given to the first 250 who arrive at the festival.
Vendors from across the state will be set up along the Boulevard with fun programming for families including ice skating, cookie decorating, free hot chocolate, a letter to Santa station, extravagant light displays, fire pits to roast s’mores, winter sport giveaways, and more. The U.S. Forest Service will be present with a station for attendees to sign the banner for the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. Food trucks from Chick-Fil-A, Dem Two Brothers, Shape Shop Cafe, and Ellen’s Ice Cream will be on hand.

The Culture Center will also be open for the evening with special hours until 8 p.m. providing a scavenger hunt for kids to guide them through the State Museum along with refreshments. 

“I’m thrilled about the excitement so many of our industry partners have had to join in on the festivities here in Charleston,” said West Virginia Tourism Secretary Chelsea Ruby. “I don’t think our state capitol has ever seen an event quite like this. Don’t miss the never-before opportunity to ice skate in front of the State Capitol and to roast your own s’more on the lawn. We hope you’re able to join us!”

This festival is one of 14 stops the 63-foot Norway Spruce from the Monongahela National Forest will be making on its way to the nation’s capital. To view the complete schedule, click here.