Winter and the holidays have arrived. With the arrival of cold weather, the Office of the Capitol Commission will close the north stair and plaza and Capitol promenade deck to pedestrian traffic. These areas will remain closed until spring and warm weather. The main entrance on second floor will also be closed during this time. All ground floor entrances will remain open. Before the Nebraska Unicameral’s Legislative session begins on January 4, 2017, the Capitol will be busy with holiday activities. After the festive holiday tree arrives the first week of December and is decorated with ornaments representing Nebraska’s 93 counties, the Official State Holiday Tree will be lit at a Pinewood Bowl, Inc. sponsored lighting ceremony and carol sing on December 11, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. Prelude music by the Nebraska Rotunders will begin at 1:30 p.m. Following a welcome by the Pinewood Bowl Inc. president and introductions, Governor Pete Ricketts will deliver his 2016 holiday message. The program will include musical performances by Oakland, Nebraska’s Swedish Heritage Sankta Lucia Youth Choir, the Oakland-Craig Octet, and the Trinity Singers Youth Choir from Trinity Lutheran Church in Lincoln. The excitement will build until the Governor and First Lady light the Official State Holiday Tree. The program will conclude with those assembled singing traditional holiday carols. Chris Goforth with KFOR will emcee the program which KFOR will broadcast live from 2:00-3:00 PM. The tree lighting begins the musical season which will continue with holiday music on December 13th and 14th. On Tuesday December 13th local musicians will perform a Christmas Tuba Concert at noon. The Holiday Horns from the University of Nebraska School of Music will perform a noon concert of holiday music arranged for French Horns on Wednesday December 14th. December 20th at noon the St. Mary’s 2nd – 5th grade choirs will carol around the holiday tree during the noon hour. The Capitol will be open for regularly scheduled tours throughout December. The Capitol will be closed on Sunday December 25th and will be open for hourly tours from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on December 26th. State government offices are closed that day. The holiday tree will come down later that week depending on the weather, possibly as early as Wednesday the 28th. For more information please call (402)471-0449.