Governor Kate Brown

Enter to be the U.S.
Capitol Christmas Tree Lighter

We would like to ask 4th grade students the following question:

"Why do you love spending time in the Oregon outdoors?"




We are so excited that Oregon has been selected to provide the United States 2018 Capitol Christmas Tree!

The tradition of the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree began in 1964, and over the years, a different national forest has been chosen each year to provide “The People’s Tree” for the holiday season. Oregon’s tree will come from the Willamette National Forest as a gift to the people of the United States, and will be displayed on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

One lucky, young Oregonian will have the opportunity to fly to Washington, D.C. and join the Speaker of the House in lighting the 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree during the official ceremony. To coincide with the 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree theme, “Find Your Trail!” we’re launching an essay contest asking 4th grade students to write letters about what they love about Oregon’s outdoors. I will select one student author from statewide letter submissions to receive a once-in-a-lifetime all-expenses paid trip for the winner and one guardian to travel to Washington, D.C. to take part in the tree-lighting ceremony alongside members of the House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, and the public, and also attend festivities surrounding the tree lighting taking place throughout the capitol.

It’s an honor to share some of our state’s incredible beauty with the rest of America and we look forward to hearing from our 4th graders about their love of Oregon’s outdoors! 

Governor Kate Brown


​How to apply:

Applications and essay submissions are due by Friday, September 28, 2018.

The winner will be announced October 12, 2018, with travel to Washington, D.C. the first week of December.

Submit your essay

Font size: 12 point 
Margins:   1 inch
Spacing:   Double spaced
Length:     500 words or less

Essays will be reviewed by the following criteria:
  • relevant content
  • clear focus
  • originality

 Every Kid in a Park