CHARLESTON, WV (WVDN) – Gov. Jim Justice and First Lady Cathy Justice cordially invite all West Virginians to join them at this year’s Joyful Night celebration, taking place on Tuesday, December 5, 2023, starting at 6:00 p.m. on the South Steps of the West Virginia State Capitol.
The focal point of this year’s festivities will be the lighting of the State Christmas Tree, a 50 ft Balsam Fir specially harvested this year from Randolph County’s Kumbrabow State Forest, which was delivered and mounted earlier this week. The West Virginia Division of Forestry, the General Services Division, and the West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) all participated in the cutting, transporting, and positioning of the tree.
At 6:30 p.m, the Governor and First Lady will join those gathered at the South Steps of the State Capitol to illuminate the State Christmas Tree, adorned with holiday decorations. This special occasion marks the official commencement of the holiday season, bringing warmth and joy to the hearts of West Virginians across the state. During the Tree Lighting Ceremony, guests will also hear a special reading of a Mark Harshman Christmas poem by Winfield High School student and creative writing contest winner Braylee Smolder, along with other musical performances.
Prior to the tree lighting ceremony, attendees are invited to gather at Lincoln Plaza on the south side of the Capitol at 6:00 p.m., where they will be entertained by seasonal tunes from the Philip Barbour High School Band, Capital High School VIP’s Show Choir, and the Barboursville Elementary Choir.
Following the tree lighting ceremony, guests are encouraged to embark on a journey through the Capitol Complex. In the West Rotunda of the State Capitol, visitors can admire the beautifully decorated trees honoring Gold Star Mothers, members of the Armed Forces, and First Responders. The Red Cross will also be present, providing a special card for military personnel currently serving our country.
Meanwhile, the Culture Center’s Great Hall will transform into a winter wonderland, offering light refreshments and showcasing the winning ornaments from the First Lady’s West Virginia Student Ornament Competition. Additionally, Christmas Bows crafted by local artisans will adorn the space.
For those unable to attend the event in person, West Virginia Public Broadcasting will broadcast the celebration live on the West Virginia Channel.
Viewers can also tune in to the Governor’s and First Lady’s social media platforms – YouTube, X, and Facebook – to view the event from the comfort of their homes.
The full video of the event will be available on-demand on the Governor’s and First Lady’s social media platforms following the conclusion of the Joyful Night celebration.
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