Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas in Washington DC

White House Gates at Christmas

White House Christmas Tree
Delivered by Horse-Drawn Carriage

The beautiful horses, “Karry” and “Dempsey”
with driver, Scott Harmon

A matching team of Belgian horses delivered the official
White House Christmas tree to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
on Monday, Nov. 26, to kick off the holiday season
in the nation’s capitol.

The 20-foot-high Fraser Fir was delivered
on a four-wheeled wagon
driven by Scott Harmon of Meadow Acres Farm
in Brandy Station, North Carolina.

Midge Harmon’s team of Belgian draft horses, “Karry” and “Dempsey”, and her son, Scott, personally
carted the 20-foot Frazier fir tree
from a drop-point downtown to the White House.

This is the first time Harmon’s horses
have been invited to deliver the official
White House Christmas Tree.

“What an honor this was,” Midge Harmon said.
“This is probably the biggest thing
for a team of horses to be invited to do.
I’m really proud
and it was always a dream of my (late) husband”.

Harmon’s horses were selected by the White House
to deliver the tree earlier this year after they
provided hayrides for a congressional picnic on the
White House grounds.

In the past, Oxen Hill Farm has traditionally handled the White House Christmas tree procession. However, this year they were not available.

Since the Harmons have trained Oxen Hill drivers and horses for the past 25 years, it turned to the Harmons to pull its wagon this year.

In preparing “Karry” and “Dempsey” for delivery of the White House Christmas tree, the horses were washed and braided and turned out in full formal harness.

The manes were braided with green and red “flags” that rise above a French braid along the crest of the neck, and the tails were done up in a “Scotch knot.”

Midge Harmon adorns Belgian draft “Kerry”

after braiding the mane.

The harness were outfitted with sleigh bells, and the black harness itself was polished and every brass buckle shined.

The Fraser Fir tree, so huge that it spilled off the wagon front and back, was bedecked with a big red, white and blue bow. The tree was a gift from Mistletoe Meadows Christmas Tree Farm in Laurel Springs, North Carolina.

I love that this beautiful tradition has carried on for so many
years in our Capitol, and it makes me very proud
 & very happy.

I found this beautiful photo of President & Mrs. Kennedy
I thought some of you would enjoy seeing.
First lady Jacqueline Kennedy put the White House tree
in the Blue Room so tourists could see it
for the first time in 1961.
This photo of President John F. Kennedy and his wife
was taken in 1962.


Merry Christmas Everyone


Greet said...

Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful pictures! I love the picture of the gates of The White House! And yes you can be proud of the Capital!



Merry Christmas, Greet! I'm sure it's absolutely beautiful in Belgium right now.

Deanna said...

Dear Marsha, These pictures are charming. What a delightful way to deliver the tree to the White House.
Fun post!
May you have a blessed and Merry Christmas!
It's just about here,