It might surprise people outside of Alaska to know that Samoan, Tongan, Hawaiian and other Polynesian cultures thrive in Anchorage and their biggest celebration of the year is Polynesian Cultural Day in June. This year the Chugach National Forest and Alaska Geographic joined the fun! Together we hosted an ornament-making event at the Polynesian Cultural Day Celebration. Children and teens made their own Polynesian-themed ornaments that will adorn the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree in Washington D.C. this winter. Participants were excited to share the story of Alaska’s vibrant Polynesian communities with the nation! They traced Polynesian designs on recycled materials such as CDs and plastic yogurt covers to make beautiful, festive ornaments.

One young ornament-maker, Princess, had high hopes that her special ornament would be delivered directly to President Obama, imploring us to make sure he knows it’s a gift from Princess. We couldn’t make any promises, but we know her ornament will be enjoyed in D.C. as it hangs on the Capitol Christmas Tree!

Polynesian Cultural Day was sponsored by the Polynesian Association of Alaska.


Alaska Geographic is collaborating with the Chugach National Forest to facilitate opportunities for Alaskans from across the state to create ornaments that will adorn the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, which is coming from an Alaskan forest for the first time in history! Please stay posted on the Capitol Christmas Tree website for upcoming events.