Holidays at the Capitol: The 35th Annual Grand Tree Lighting Ceremony

By Emy Sloan


The Oregon State Capitol is a magical place to visit during the holidays! There are many sparkling lights, trees and other various Christmas decorations on display throughout the building. The centerpiece is the giant ‘Grand Tree’ that stands high in the Capitol Rotunda.

Throughout the month of December there are daily holiday musical performances put on by local schools that are free and open to the public!

We attended the 35th Annual Grand Tree Lighting Ceremony this year. (This celebration is the beginning of Holidays at the Capitol!) We were early enough to be able to find a spot to sit right in front of the tree. The kids loved looking at the train underneath and pointing out the various woodland creatures and other decorations. They listened in awe to the beautiful sounds of South Salem High School’s choir and sat (semi) patiently during a few words from speakers (Including Governor Kate Brown and Senator Jackie Winters.)



At long last Santa and Mrs. Claus appeared! The switch was flipped, and the Grand Tree was lit!

Afterwards we were able to enjoy complimentary cookies and punch as well as a visit and photos with Santa.

It was a great way to kick off the holiday season!




Please see the Oregon State Capitol website for more information including the 2016 Choir Performance Schedule:


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