Springfield, Mo. -- (11/15/2017) Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World and Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium have been selected to be a “whistle stop” for the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree as it makes its way from the Kootenai National Forest in Montana to Washington, D.C. Every year, a different national forest is selected to provide a tree to appear on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol for the Christmas season.
The tree, cut earlier this month and prepared for the more than 2,000-mile expedition, includes a series of community celebrations such as the one scheduled at Bass Pro Shops in Springfield 4-8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 21. The public is invited to participate in the celebration which includes a series of festive family-friendly activities.
The Republic High School marching band and Christmas carols presented by the “City/County Singers” will entertain the crowd. Other special features include live reindeer, S’mores, hot cocoa and outdoor cooking demonstrations. In addition, elves from Bass Pro Shops Santa’s Wonderland will be helping kids make Christmas crafts. A large banner on the side of the truck carrying the tree on its journey will allow event attendees the chance to sign and wish the tree a safe journey.
Other festivities during the tree’s visit to Springfield and Bass Pro Shops include a short ceremony beginning at 4:30 p.m. with special remarks from Springfield City Mayor Ken McClure, Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World General Manager Lee Beasley and a representative from the U.S. Forest Service. The tree and event will be in the main parking lot in front of the grand entrance at Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, 1935 S. Campbell.
Special guests include Missouri-artist Jennifer Dodson whose hand-painted ornaments were chosen to represent Missouri at the lighting of the “People’s Tree,” Springfield Mayor Pro Tem Jan Fisk, numerous City officials, Smokey Bear and, of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Scouts from the Ozarks Trail Council Boy Scouts Wa-Sha-She Lodge Order of the Arrow will be on-hand to talk with area residents about the Christmas tree recycling program. The troop will be collecting discarded trees after the holiday. Bass Pro Shops has partnered with the Missouri Department of Conservation for 31 years to recycle Christmas trees to provide wildlife habitat for Missouri wildlife.
After the tree event, families are invited to come inside Bass Pro Shops and experience the return of Santa’s Wonderland– a massive Christmas village transformation inside Bass Pro Shops locations nationwide through Dec. 24 featuring free photos with Santa and free family holiday activities including crafts, games and holiday magic for the whole family. All activities are open to the public and free for all to enjoy.
“We are honored to be a whistle stop on the tour of the U.S. Capitol tree and encourage people to come out to see it and to enjoy the fun festivities planned. Holidays in Springfield are always such an exciting time and we are thrilled that Bass Pro and others are doing so many things to help celebrate the season,” said Springfield Mayor Ken McClure. Mayor McClure will also make a proclamation declaring Nov. 21, 2017 as “U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Day” in Springfield, Missouri.