Official State Holiday Tree Enters the Capitol

On Monday December 2 the Official State Holiday Tree was brought to the Capitol. The tree will be decorated and ready for the 66th annual lighting ceremony and carol sing on Sunday December 8 at 2:00 p.m. in the second floor rotunda.  The tree lighting event, presented by the Pinewood Bowl Committee, the Lincoln JayCees and KFOR 1240 AM, will begin with prelude music at 1:30 p.m. by St. Matthews Episcopal Church Bell Choir. Following introductions and musical performances by the Lincoln Continentals and Fredstrom Elementary Fifth Grade Choir, Governor Dave Heineman will deliver his holiday message.  The finale will come when Governor Heineman and First Lady Sally Ganem light the holiday tree and those assembled sing traditional holiday carols. Following the program, the Governor’s Residence will be open to the public from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.  Noontime holiday concerts in the Capitol will be on Tuesday December 17th with the University of Nebraska and community tubas performing holiday favorites and on Wednesday December 18 at noon when the UNL School of Music Husker Horns will perform. Both concerts will be in the second floor rotunda and the public is invited to come enjoy the Holiday Tree and music of the season. The Capitol will be open for tours throughout the holiday season, but will be closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.  Free guided tours are offered on the hour, except noon, beginning at 9:00 a.m. on weekdays, 10:00 a.m. on Saturday and 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. The final tour of the day begins at 4:00 p.m. The observation decks will be open weather permitting. Those wishing to view the holiday tree decorated with handmade ornaments reflecting Nebraska’s 93 counties should come to the Capitol before December 30. Please call the tour office at (402) 471-0448 for more information about touring the Capitol. The Nebraska State Historical Society’s Landmark Store at the Capitol will be open during the Tree Lighting Ceremony and weekdays throughout the holiday season, phone (402)471-2062 for information.