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Nations Christmas tree to visit Dahlonega
Spruce to adorn US Capitol will pass through North Georgia next week
The Capitol Christmas Tree will make a stop in Dahlonega at 6 p.m. Wednesday before it is transported to the U.S. Capitol's front lawn in Washington, D.C. Concerts and other events will be featured in the downtown Dahlonega square. - photo by David J. Swift

Capitol Christmas Tree celebration

What: Concerts and other events to celebrate the only Georgia stop for the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree as it heads to Washington, D.C.

When: Concerts by Freddie Way and local church and school groups, 1-6 p.m.; tree arrival, between 3 and 5 p.m. Wednesday; concerts by Kurt Thomas and other local musicians, tree banner signing and downtown shops open for business, 1-5 p.m. Nov. 25. Balloon artist, face painting and souvenirs, cocoa and other snacks for sale.

Where: Downtown Dahlonega square

How much: Free

More info: 706-864-3513

 Coming Sunday

The Times takes an in-depth look at the tree's journey, as led by Jeff Underwood of Dahlonega.

What do Georgia, Wyoming and Washington, D.C., have in common?

Each has a special role in the planning and transport of this year's U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, which will pass through Dahlonega, its only Georgia stop, this Wednesday.

Jeff Underwood of Dahlonega, owner of Jeff Underwood Trucking, took on the task of driving the truck that will bring the tree, an Englemann spruce taken from Wyoming's Bridger-Teton National Forest, to its final destination on the West front lawn of the Capitol.

Sometime between 3 and 5 p.m. Wednesday, Underwood will roll into Dahlonega for a celebration that will include a concert by local musician Freddie Way, a live nativity scene and a chance for local residents to see the 67-foot tree.

Stephen Smith, tourism director for the Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber of Commerce, said the Capitol Christmas Tree celebration is a perfect fit for Dahlonega.

"We've gotten very excited about having the tree with us for a couple of days," Smith said.

"Dahlonega's a special place, anyway, and during the holiday months, we decorate the square, and it's something out of a storybook, really," he said, adding that volunteers worked to decorate the square earlier this year in preparation for the tree's arrival.

Smith said Thanksgiving Day will be a day for shopping on the downtown square. Some merchants will open from 1-5 p.m., with concerts by another local singer, Kurt Thomas, and other musicians, and a chance to see the tree before Underwood continues his trek the morning of Nov. 26.

"They'll have banners and folks can come and sign their Christmas well-wishing and send some thoughts up to Washington, D.C.," said Smith.

"They've been getting the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree out of a different national forest for 40 years. Out of the 40-year history, it has never been through Georgia," said Underwood, who will bring his wife, Cindy, and his children, Samuel, 10, and Mary Ann, 8, along when he continues his trip from Dahlonega to D.C.

"The people, everywhere we pull in, people are just so nice," Underwood said.

"They just can't wait to see the tree and sign the banners ... I tell you what, it's just been real, real good," he said.