LITTLE ROCK, AR - Secretary of State Mark Martin invites the public to attend the State Capitol Lighting Ceremony Saturday, December 3.
"I'm honored to continue the tradition of lighting the State Capitol for Christmas in Arkansas," Martin said. "I hope people of all ages will join us for the ceremony after the parade in downtown Little Rock."
The tradition dates back to 1938, when then-Secretary of State Crip Hall decided to light the Capitol as a gift to young patients at the Arkansas Children's Infirmary - now Arkansas Children's Hospital.
After the ceremony, Santa Claus will visit with children in the Capitol Rotunda during performances by Arkansas vocal groups Top of the Rock and Diamond State Chorus.
Festivities begin at dusk, following the Big Jingle Jubilee Holiday Parade.
"I invite everyone to come inside to view the decorations, visit Santa and listen to the performances," Martin said. "We're continuing the Capitol's 'Century of Service' theme from this spring by adopting a 1911 look for the decorations."
He added, "We're also reviving the tradition of having the Christmas tree on the first floor, rising into the Rotunda well. I'm excited and think Arkansans will enjoy having the tree visible from all floors of the Capitol."
Activities continue around the Capitol after the Dec. 3 lighting ceremony, Martin said. Schedules will be posted on the Secretary of State's website, www.sos.arkansas.gov