SUBMITTED By LYNNE HARLAN
EBCI PUBLIC RELATIONS
The United States Capitol Christmas Tree visited Cherokee on Wednesday, Nov. 23. Vice Chief Larry Blythe welcomed the tree to Cherokee and presented an ornament to Reva Fuller, governmental affairs coordinator for the Tolume Band of Me-Wok Indians, who is a sponsor of the tree.
Fuller presented Vice Chief Blythe with a carved stone bowl as a sign of friendship between the tribes. The Cherokee Elementary School Choir, the Cherokee Elementary School Traditional Singers and students from the Kituwah Language Academy entertained with musical presentations.
After the formal presentation, there was an opportunity for visitors to sign a giant banner to accompany the tree to Washington, DC.
The EBCI would like to thank all who helped to make the event a success: The ladies of NAIWA; Robin Swayney; Harrah’s HERO volunteers; Todd and Sally Kent and the Sound of Music; Yona Wade; Phyllis Ashenfelter; Howard Wahnetah and the Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds Staff; Cherokee Travel & Promotions department; students, staff and parents of the Kituwah Language Academy and Cherokee Central Schools; Steve Youngdeer American Legion Post 143; the Yellowhill Baptist Church Singers; the Acquoni Baptist Church Choir and the Cherokee Police Department.
This year’s tree is a Sierra White Fir (Abies Iowiana) and was harvested in the Stanislaus National Forest in California. It is 118 years old and was 63 feet at harvest according to U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree official website. The tree weighs 8,300 pounds.
The tree caravan itself will cover 4,500 miles in the three-week tour.
Reporter Scott McKie B.P. contributed to this report.