HILLSBORO—Governor Kate Brown surprised the fourth grade students of Jackson Elementary School this morning when she popped into their class to announce that Brigette Harrington was the winner of this year’s U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree contest.
More than 1,200 fourth graders from across the state submitted essays about why they love Oregon’s outdoors in hopes of winning a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. and light Oregon’s tree this December.
“It was exciting to have so many young Oregonians submit essays about our beautiful state. I particularly loved Brigette’s reflections on Oregon’s four seasons, and I am thrilled that she will be representing all Oregonians at the U.S. Capitol,” said Governor Brown.
Each year, a different national forest is chosen to provide “The People’s Tree” for the holiday season. As the nation’s largest producer of Christmas trees, Oregon’s Willamette National Forest is proud to have a tree displayed on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building.
“I’m feeling pretty amazed and excited. It’s such an honor, and I’m excited to light the tree!” said Harrington. It took Harrington three days to write her winning poem for the contest, which was organized in coordination with the U.S. Forest Service, and sponsored by the non-profit organization, Choose Outdoors.
‘Twas the month before Christmas, and all through my mind,
Swirled thoughts of my Oregon, all intertwined;
The four seasons how extraordinary, each one of a kind,
Left memories galore for my mind to rewind.