PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The smell of pine will not be wafting through the Rhode Island State House this holiday season.
While announcing the date for the state’s tree lighting ceremony, Gov. Gina Raimondo’s office revealed Monday this year’s Christmas tree is an 18-foot artificial tree.
“Rhode Island’s perennial challenges with the State House Christmas tree have been well-documented,” said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. “Due to conditions inside the State House, it’s challenging to keep a real tree alive and thriving from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. I want Rhode Islanders to be able to enjoy the State House Christmas decorations—especially the tree—for the entirety of the holiday season.”
The governor’s office said the tree purchased from Balsam Hill was paid for with remaining funds from the 2017 NGA conference.
The festivities are set to begin Wednesday at 5 p.m., with the tree lighting at 6:15 p.m.
After the tree is lit, the governor and First Gentleman Andy Moffit will read “The Night Before Christmas.”
This year’s celebration will feature performances from the LaSalle Academy Concert Chorus, “The Governor’s Own” 88th Army Band, and the Scandinavian Women’s Chorus of Rhode Island. There also will be crafts for the kids. As always, Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will be visiting the State House from the North Pole.