U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree passes through Milwaukee, connecting kids with nature

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Crowds of children transformed Milwaukee's Cathedral Square Park into a holiday wonderland for a special guest on Tuesday, November 11th.

"I expected it to be a little bit smaller so when the truck arrived I was pretty excited that it was that big," said 5th grader Izabela Encino.

That truck is carrying the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. Milwaukee is one of 30 cities the tree is visiting after being harvested from the Chippewa National Forest in Minnesota.

"The fact that they're able to see that tree that will be outside the capitol in Washington D.C. is something that is a once in a generation opportunity," said Chippewa National Forest Public Affairs Officer Mike Theune.

The public was welcome to sign a banner on the truck carrying the 88 foot tall tree with well wishes and seasons greetings. More than 600 students from 16 metro Milwaukee schools took turns looking at the traveling tree, while decorating their own tree.

"To connect them with nature in the middle of the city and to position them hopefully for positive leadership within the city of Milwaukee someday," said Milwaukee Downtown CEO Beth Weirick.

Cathedral Square Park is re-named Community Spirit Park for the holiday season as each school's tree has a theme that fits into the children's curriculum.

"Shine bright this holiday season and we have a bunch of shiny and gold ornaments that we made to put on the tree," said Encino.

Although the Capitol Tree has to continue its journey to D.C, all of the children's trees will stand tall and proud throughout the holiday season.

The Capitol Christmas Tree will arrive in Washington D.C. on November 21st and will be lit on December 2nd. You have the opportunity to track the tree on its journey to the nation's capitol. For information on how to do that CLICK HERE.