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Sunday, the annual “Trek to the Tree” is taking place at Kings Canyon National Park.
Back in 1924, R.J. Senior of Sanger visited the General Grant Tree. As he looked up at it, a little girl standing next to him said, “What a wonderful Christmas tree it would be!”
That sparked an idea. Mr. Senior was the President of the Sanger Chamber of Commerce. With the help of his colleague, Charles E. Lee, the two conceived the idea of an annual holiday ceremony.
Mr. Lee wrote to President Calvin Coolidge and in April 1926, the President designated the General Grant as the Nation’s Christmas Tree.
Today, the Sanger Chamber of Commerce continues to sponsor the annual Christmas “Trek to the Tree.” It takes place each year on the second Sunday of December at 2:30 p.m.
This year’s “Trek to the Tree” is this Sunday, December 10. The ceremony lasts about one hour.
The keynote speaker is U.S. Air Force Capt. Clayton Diltz, 144th Fighter Wing Base Chaplain. The Sanger High Choir and Jubilation Singers will perform holiday songs.
In honor of the celebration, admission to the park is free on Sunday. Kings Canyon National Park is located 55 miles east of Fresno. It can be reached by taking Highway 180.
Don’t want to drive? Seats are still available on three charter buses that will leave from the Sanger Chamber of Commerce.
The first bus leaves at 10:30 a.m. and will stop at the recently remodeled Grant Grove Restaurant for lunch. I’m told the all-inclusive buffet will be a Christmas Feast. Tickets are $85 for adults and $55 for children 12 and under.
The two additional buses will depart for Kings Canyon National Park at 12:15 p.m.
One will return to the Sanger Chamber of Commerce following the ceremony. Tickets for that bus are $55 for all ages.
The remaining bus will stop at Grant Grove Restaurant for dinner. Like with the lunch option, tickets are $85 for adults and $55 for children 12 and under.
For more information about the “Trek to the Tree” and to purchase charter bus tickets, call the Sanger Chamber of Commerce at 559-875-4575.