Providence, RI - Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee and First Lady Stephanie Chafee will host the annual State House holiday tree lighting in the State House Rotunda on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 5:30 p.m. All Rhode Islanders are invited to attend and see the 17-foot Colorado Blue Spruce lit for the first time. The tree was donated by Big John Leyden's Tree Farm in West Greenwich.
Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will be available for a visit with the children. Light refreshments will be offered, along with entertainment by the Rhode Island Children's Chorus and the Governor's Own 88th Army Band.
A display of international holiday trees will reveal how the season is celebrated in different ways across the globe. The exhibit of trees from around the world will be located on the second floor of the State House in the halls surrounding the Rotunda.
The evening's festivities will also include the lighting of the Heroes' Tree in the State Room. The tree will be adorned with ornaments made by family and friends of military veterans to commemorate individual military service. The Heroes' Tree will stand in an honored place in the State Room throughout the holiday season.
In addition, culinary students from Exeter Job Corps Academy have created and donated a large scale gingerbread house to be displayed in the State Room. The gingerbread house is a replica of Southeast Light House on Block Island.
2,650 students from almost fifty Rhode Island schools will also be holding holiday concerts at the State House throughout the holiday season. The concerts begin on November 30 and will run through December 23. For a complete list of the concerts and times, please visit http://www.arts.ri.gov/holiday.
The State House tree will remain lighted throughout the holiday season. The State House is open to the public on weekdays, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.