Christmas tree lighting Wednesday evening
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Published: 01-Dec-2010

CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

Published: 01-Dec-2010

Gov. Brad Henry and First Lady Kim Henry will be joined by schoolchildren from across the state this evening (Wednesday, December 1), for the annual lighting of the State Capitol Christmas tree. The Henrys will light the tree at approximately 6 p.m. on the south steps of the Capitol.

“This tradition at the State Capitol is a fun and joyous way to celebrate the holiday season,” said Gov. Henry. “Kim and I always love the opportunity for Oklahoma families to join together during this special time of year.”

First Lady Kim Henry said she looks forward to this annual Capitol tradition.

“The lighting of the Christmas tree means that music and the sounds of children will fill the halls of the Capitol,” she said. “It’s a fabulous event, and I encourage all Oklahomans to join us for the occasion.”

The 30-foot-tall artificial evergreen will boast about 2,000 energy-conserving LED lights. Officials say that such lights provide an energy savings of 80 to 90 percent over incandescent lamps and last 100,000 hours.

One hundred evergreens throughout the State Capitol Park will also be lighted during the festivities. All the trees were donated by the Weyerhauser Company Foundation.

As part of the celebration, more than 1,000 children this afternoon will decorate 44 small Christmas trees located throughout the Capitol. The students, ranging in age from preschool to eighth grade, represent schools in Alex, Byng, Chickasha, Choctaw-Nicoma Park, Edmond, Flower Mound, Harrah, Maple, Midwest City-Del City, Middleberg, Millwood, Moore, Oklahoma City, Piedmont, Putnam City, Shawnee, Silo, Terral, and Yukon.

This year’s festivities include storytelling, music, dance, refreshments and a visit from Ol’ Saint Nick himself. There will be performances inside the Capitol by the Mid-Del String Quartet, the John Marshall High School Advanced Academy Choir, Oklahoma City’s Linwood Elementary School Honor Choir, pianist and composer Matt Schinske and 1625 Productions, the Ballet Flamenco Espanol and storyteller Al Bostick.

Performing during the tree-lighting ceremony will be Manyawi, a world music ensemble from Monroe Elementary School in Norman.

Helping the Henrys with the tree lighting this year will be Lawrence and Allison Holt and their seven adopted children:  Jace, Sidney, Katie, Holly, Josh, Lexie and Maci.

The Holts represent the nearly 1,600 Oklahoma children who were adopted during the 2010 fiscal year, and the families who lovingly took those children into their homes.  Nearly 2,000 children in the state are awaiting adoption and want nothing more than to have a loving, caring adoptive family of their own over the holidays.

Sponsors of this year’s tree-lighting event include the Oklahoma Department of Education, the Department of Central Services, the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety, the state Arts Council, and the Governor’s Office.

The schedule for the festivities is as follows:

3:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. 

Tree decorating, storytelling, choir performances, music, dance and other activities inside Capitol

5:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Participants relocate to south steps of Capitol building

6 p.m – 6:30 p.m.

Christmas tree lighting and program

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