At least for now, we have a Lebanon County Christmas mystery.
Update 10/25: The Christmas tree mystery has been solved, and it’s a very American story. Read our story here.
The U.S. National Park Service (NPS) has announced that the new National Christmas Tree will be from Lebanon County, but the identity of the local donor was unknown at publication time.
According to a Monday NPS news release, the tree is a 30-foot Colorado Blue Spruce. The agency plans to transport the spruce “from Pennsylvania to the nation’s capital on Friday, and to plant the tree Saturday morning [Oct. 26] via crane.”
In response to an email from LebTown, NPS spokeswoman Katie Liming would only say that the tree is “coming from a private residence in Lebanon County.”
As of Tuesday morning, the Lebanon County Cooperative Extension Office was not aware of the tree donation nor the identity of its donors, and PennDOT had not received notice of plans to transport a large, living tree on local highways.
The National Christmas Tree is planted on the Ellipse at President’s Park, just south of the White House, and lit annually. The new Lebanon County edition will replace a tree planted in 2014 that has been damaged by storms and vandalism.
If all goes according to plan, the new tree will be lit on Thursday, Dec. 5, during the 97th National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.
So far, no one knows if the mysterious Lebanon County donor(s) will be in attendance.