C&O Canal Ornament Displayed on the Official White House Christmas Tree

Credit -White house photo

"Holiday in the National Parks" Celebrated at the White House

C&O Canal Ornament Displayed on the Official White House Christmas Tree

(Washington DC)- The C&O Canal National Historical Park ornament is prominently displayed on this year's official White House Christmas Tree. The tree is the centerpiece of elaborate decorations celebrating the theme of "Holiday in the National Parks."
"It is an amazing honor for the National Park Service to be selected as the theme for the White House holiday decorations by the President and Mrs. Bush," said National Park Service Director Mary A. Bomar. "Mrs. Bush is the best champion for our national parks, and the beautiful decorations in each state room showcase the natural and historical treasures found in parks throughout the country."
The tree, located in the Blue Room, is adorned with handmade ornaments representing the country's 391 National Park Service sites. "Each ornament on the magnificent 18-foot Fraser fir was designed by an artist selected by the park," said Bomar. "The ornaments tell the stories of our parks, just as our parks tell the stories of our nation."
C&O Canal's ornament was created by Tom Kozar a snow covered scene with Santa riding a canal boat approaching a lock and lockhouse. Kozar attended a reception held at the Whitehouse recognizing the artists who created the ornaments.
Tom Kozar is a distinguished American artist who has earned international recognition. He has been the Artist in Residence at the C&O Canal, Antietam National Battlefield, and Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C. In addition to paintings of the canal and the park ornament, Kozar recently created the C&O Canal Key that was featured in the Frederick, Maryland area. The Key features paintings of the Catoctin and Monocacy Aqueducts. The Key is on display in the park's Hagerstown, Maryland office and will be displayed at park visitor centers during the coming year.
The holiday displays incorporate the wide variety of natural, cultural, and recreational features preserved by the National Park Service. Models of icons such as the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and the Statue of Liberty share space with paintings of scenic vistas from Grand Canyon, Zion, and Rocky Mountain National Parks. Holiday garlands intertwined with park objects including seashells, pine cones, and gold aspen leaves add to each room's festive feel.
A highlight of the decorations is a scaled-down, but architecturally accurate, gingerbread reproduction of the south view of the White House, a unit of the National Park Service. The edible masterpiece includes Bush family pets Barney, Miss Beazley, and Willie frolicking on the lawn with moose, elk, raccoons, and other animals found in national parks.
"National Parks commemorate the people, places, and events that define the American experience," said Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne. "I am so appreciative of President Bush's efforts to recognize the important role of national parks in American society. Our country will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016 and the President has been instrumental in establishing the National Park Centennial Initiative to prepare the parks for the next century."