November 29, 2023

Manchin Celebrates 2023 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting

Washington, DC – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, celebrated the 2023 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building. Senator Manchin was joined by Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA), Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Representatives Carol Miller (R-WV) and Alex Mooney (R-WV), essay contest winner Ethan Reese and the Richwood High School Marching Band.

“It was an honor to attend the 2023 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting with so many of my fellow West Virginians and Americans,” said Senator Manchin. “The Capitol Christmas Tree is a festive, historic tradition that brings our nation together during the holidays, and I’m so proud that this year’s tree is from West Virginia’s beautiful Monongahela National Forest. I’m grateful to everyone who played a role in making today’s wonderful event a reality – together, we showcased to the whole country not only the incredible forestry of the Mountain State, but also our extraordinary community spirit.”

The Capitol Christmas Tree – known as “The People’s Tree” – lights up the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol during the holiday season and is selected from a different national forest each year, a tradition that began in 1970 when Monongahela National Forest provided the first tree on behalf of the Forest Service. Monongahela National Forest also provided the tree in 1976. This year, the tree was harvested in Randolph County from the Greenbrier Ranger District and travelled around West Virginia throughout November before heading to Washington.

In January, Senator Manchin first announced the selection of West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest to provide the 2023 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. In September, he opened an essay contest for West Virginia 4th graders to receive a once-in-a-lifetime all-expenses paid trip for the winner and one guardian to travel to Washington to take part in the official tree-lighting ceremony. Ethan Reese from Beverly Elementary School in Randolph County won the contest and lit the tree alongside the West Virginia delegation and Speaker Johnson.

Photos from the event are available here.

A video of the ceremony is available here.