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Acorn & Oak

I regret to say that I will be unable to attend the Acorn collating
tonight, nor yet the Oak collating next week, neither.  But the
mention of these events brings up two questions in my mind, which
I would like to address to those assembled.

Firstly, what is the Oak?

The second question is one that I have had since shortly after
moving to the fair Barony of Windmaster's Hill.  I have noticed
that there is a remarkable large statue of an acorn in a park
in Raleigh.  (I saw no plaque to tell whether this was some particular
acorn, or a monument to the Unknown Acorn.)  Then, a few month's
later, at the "New Year" celebrations that the mundanes hold in
the middle of the year, I saw that folks waited for the acorn to
drop.  My question is, does these have any connection to that fine
kingdom newsletter, the Acorn?

-- Alfredo el Bufon