Ceremony to light Christmas Tree at the State Capitol

By: Sabrina Ahmed

It's a staple in Lincoln's holiday traditions.  The state lit it's Christmas tree for the first time.

The kids gathered with the Governor and First Lady for the countdown…and the tree was lit.

Applause filled the room as the state Christmas tree sparkled in the capitol building.  While this was the highlight for a lot of the audience, the afternoon was filled with other festive treats, too.

There were the bells, and the choirs. 

Grandparents brought their youngest family members, and some parents brought their kids for the first time.

“Our kids are at that age now where I think it's important for them to see that and to know the holiday traditions that happen in the city,” Mom Jenny Gall said.

Everyone has their favorite part, but for the Governor, he wants to remember those who can't be with their families this holiday season.

“It's a time to say a special thank you to our veterans who serve to protect our freedom, the men and women stationed all over the world who aren't gonna be with their families—so that's part of all the tradition too,” Governor Heinemann said.

Hundreds of people crowded the rotunda and by the end, they were all singing along to the Christmas tunes.

After the ceremony, the Governor and First Lady opened up their home to the public, showing off the mansion's decorations.

“My wife's decorated it—I didn't have anything to do with it, it looks great.  And the First Puppy really enjoys greeting every body as they come, Snickers, he has a lot of fun with this.”

This was the 65th time the Christmas tree has been lit up in the capitol building.  The day was sponsored by the Pinewood Bowl Committee and they say, each year, it keeps on growing.