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 Kootenai National Forest, in partnership with nonprofit Choose Outdoors, will bring this special gift from Montana to Washington, D.C.

The trip will involve more than 15 communities along the way, including an appearance in Dickinson from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, in downtown Dickinson -- Sims between Villard St. and First Street.

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Festivities during the tree’s visit to Dickinson will include a visit by Santa Claus, a U.S. Forest Service representative, and the Dickinson State University Choir and Santa’s Brass performing for the public. Local food vendors will be set up. Activities are free for all to enjoy.

The tree was cut Nov. 7 and prepared for the more than 2,000-mile expedition. The celebrations  culminate with the official tree lighting in early December, as stated in a news release.

Smaller companion trees also will be provided to decorate offices inside of the U.S. Capitol building,  along with ornaments created by Montanans.

“We are honored that the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree will visit Dickinson on its way to Washington, D.C.” said Mayor Scott Decker. “Our community looks forward to being a part of this gift to the nation and the joy it will bring to our own community this holiday.”

The Kootenai National Forest is in the extreme northwest corner of Montana and northeast Idaho and encompasses over 2.2 million acres. Ranges of high craggy peaks mark the forest with Snowshoe Peak at 8,738 feet, the highest point.

To track the tree cross-country, visit www.capitolchristmastree.com.