BOSTON — Rhode Island's state house will have an artificial Christmas tree this year, Governor Gina Raimondo's office has announced.
The move comes after the tree died well before Christmas in 2017.
"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."
Raimondo's office made the announcement while announcing the date for the tree lighting ceremony.
This year, the state house has an 18-foot artificial tree, which was purchased from Balsam Hill and paid for with remaining funds from the 2017 NGA conference, WPRI reported.
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 husband 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. Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will be visiting the state house from the North Pole.
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