LITTLE ROCK, AR (News release) - Secretary of State Mark Martin said today that due to winter weather, the Pearl Harbor Remembrance and Capitol Lighting ceremonies are cancelled.
“The precipitation we are receiving, and the cold temperatures forecast for tonight and tomorrow, present safety concerns,” Martin said. “We will still turn the Capitol Christmas lights on this weekend, but we will not hold the lighting ceremony.”
This is the fourth time since its inception 75 years ago that there will be no lighting ceremony. The Capitol remained dark at Christmas two years during World War II, and it was lit without ceremony during a major construction project in more recent history.
The annual Pearl Harbor Remembrance ceremony, which was to be held in conjunction with the Capitol lighting, has also been cancelled. “Although the weather prevents our officially honoring these men and their families, we should never forget what they faced 72 years ago,” Martin said.
Other Christmas activities at the Capitol will continue through December. From Dec. 9 to Dec. 20, visitors can enjoy seeing 180 school choirs and dance troupes from around the state perform in the Rotunda.
“We know people were excited about attending the Capitol lighting ceremony, but we felt the safety of staff, the participants and the public was paramount,” Martin said. “My staff and I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, and we hope visitors will still come to the Capitol this month to enjoy this wonderful time.”
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