Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin and their son, Brent, will welcome West Virginians to the annual Joyful Night celebration and tree lightings at 5:45 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011, at the State Capitol Complex in Charleston. The evening programs and reception are free and open to the public.
The evening’s events will begin at the North Plaza of the Capitol with musical selections by the Richwood High School Band and the Appalachian Children’s Chorus Cantare Choir from Southern West Virginia. The West Virginia Army National Guard will post the colors, followed by the singing of the National Anthem by Nick Naylor of Charleston and the Pledge of Allegiance, led by the Appalachian Children’s Chorus Cantare Choir. Governor and First Lady Tomblin will light the tree, which was donated by Eric and Stacy Holstine of Charleston.
Visitors will proceed to the South Plaza of the Capitol where the Buckhannon Upshur High School Blue and White Buccaneers Band will perform and a tree donated by Robert Kellison of Barton will be lit.
The first floor Rotunda of the Capitol will feature a holiday tree decorated with ornaments hand made by school children throughout the state. The First Presbyterian Church of Logan Bell Choir and the Martin Luther King Jr. Male Choir will perform there. The annual U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots donation site will be located in the rotunda.
The Doddridge County Elementary School Chorus will perform in the Governor’s Reception Room. Following that, the governor and first lady will continue the tradition of reciting “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”
The Governor’s Mansion will be open to visitors during Joyful Night. Musical performances there will showcase the talents of Governor’s School for the Art students Adam Richardson of South Charleston High School, Andrew Sivaprakasan of George Washington High School and Vivian Yao of Hurricane High School, and the Appalachian Children’s Chorus. The mansion Christmas tree, which features handmade ornaments by West Virginia artists and artisans, was donated by the West Virginia Tree Growers Association and Al Tolliver of Crickmer Farms, Danese.
The Culture Center will be the final stop on the Joyful Night program. The Cabell Midland High School Rhythm in Red Show Choir will perform in the Great Hall. The Trinity Bell Tones of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of Charleston will perform in the theater. The annual “Traditions of the Holidays” exhibit will be open in the second floor gallery. Visitors can enjoy light refreshments at the Culture Center.
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.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museum. For more information about the Division’s programs, events and sites, visit wwww.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative action Employer.