EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSJOYFUL NIGHT CELEBRATION
from Eyewitness News Online
Governor, First Lady Light West Virginia's Christmas Tree
Reported by: Jeff Morris
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Nov. 29, 2012 5:39 PM EST
Updated: Dec. 7, 2012 9:52 AM EST
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Christmas spirit is now officially in full swing after Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and first lady Joanne Tomblin lighted the state’s Christmas tree.
The “Joyful Night” ceremony was conducted Thursday at the West Virginia Capitol Complex.
After the tree lighting, the Governor’s Mansion was opened to the public. Inside, there is a tree dedicated to the military. It features pictures of people who have served or who are served in the armed forces.
The governor and first lady ended the evening by reading “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”
An annual holiday tradition will take place in the capital city tonight. West Virginia’s military members, their families and veterans will be honored during the program and reception for the annual Joyful Night celebration and tree lighting ceremony.
The event is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. at the state Capitol Complex, according to a news release from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s Office.
All events are free and open to the public. As part of the festivities, the governor and the first lady, Joanne Tomblin, are encouraging attendees to bring a new unwrapped toy for the U.S. Marines' Toys for Tots campaign.
Events will begin at the North Plaza of the Capitol with musical selections by the Cabell Midland High School Marching Knights, the State Marching Honor Band of the Year, and the Appalachian Children's Chorus Cantare Choir from Southern West Virginia.
The West Virginia Air National Guard will post the colors, followed by the singing of the National Anthem by the VIPs of Capital High School and the Pledge of Allegiance, led by West Virginia's only living Medal of Honor Recipient, Chief Warrant Officer (Ret.) Woody Williams.
The first family will light the tree, donated by Mr. and Mrs. Ray Fewell of Winfield.
Visitors will proceed to the South Plaza of the Capitol where the Philip Barbour High School Band, the Pride of Barbour County, will perform and the tree donated by Mr. and Mrs. Al Tolliver of Danese will be lit as the governor and first lady pay tribute to our veterans and military families.
The first floor Rotunda of the Capitol will feature a holiday tree decorated with handmade ornaments created by school children throughout the state. Music will be provided by the Martin Luther King Jr. Male Chorus. The annual U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots donation site will be located in the Rotunda.
This year's Military Recognition tree will be showcased in the governor's reception room and will feature photos of loved ones and friends who have served or are serving in the military. During their visit, attendees are invited to create holiday cards to send to our troops serving overseas.
The Governor's Mansion will be open to visitors during Joyful Night. In keeping with tradition, the governor and first lady will read "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." Visitors will have the opportunity to experience musical performances by the Appalachian Children's Chorus and a soloist from the Governor's School of Arts, in addition to viewing the second annual ArtisTree, showcasing handmade ornaments from West Virginia artists and artisans.
Finally, visitors can enjoy light refreshment at the Culture Center where the Mountainaires Barber Shop Choir will perform concluding the evening's events.
For more information about the Joyful Night activities, contact Caryn Gresham, deputy commissioner of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, at 304-558-0220.
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