Four members of the Lufkin office of the National Forests and Grasslands of Texas are accompanying the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree as it makes its way to Lufkin on Monday.
The tree is chosen annually from a forest in the United States and is sent through 13 cities on its journey. This will be the first time the tree has ever passed through Lufkin.
Yasmir Diaz-Rohweder, public affairs specialist, and Shawn Wyckoff, GIS specialist, are two of the four Lufkinites who are following the tree through San Antonio and Georgetown before it arrives in Lufkin. The journey started in the Carson National Forest in New Mexico.
“Each city is making their own plans, and we will be with them all weekend,” Diaz-Rohweder said. “We want to promote the National Forest Service, we want to promote Smokey’s message and the fact that the people’s tree is coming through town.”
They will follow the tree as it is honored at the Alamo in San Antonio and then as it passes through the Blue Skies AirForce Village Sunday morning in San Antonio and through Georgetown Sunday afternoon.
“I really enjoy Christmas, and this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Diaz-Rohweder said. “I don’t think the tree will make it through Lufkin again in my lifetime.”
She said her husband and kids will be right beside her on First Street in Lufkin as the tree passes The Pines Theater from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday.
“I look forward to seeing the people and getting the message of the forest service out there using this tree,” Wyckoff said. “When the tree goes on display in D.C., it’s a reminder of the natural resources this country has.”
This doesn’t seem like something that should happen in Lufkin, and that is why it’s cool, he said.
“But Lufkin is the unofficial de facto forestry capital of Texas, so it makes sense that it would stop here,” he said.