Gov. Joe Manchin III and First Lady Gayle Manchin will lead participants in Joyful Night, the state’s annual tree-lighting holiday celebration on Thursday, Dec. 3, beginning at 5:30 p.m. All activities are free and the public is invited to attend.
The evening’s event will begin with a parade which will march from the entrance to the Capitol Complex on Greenbrier Street to Kanawha Boulevard, then turn left and go to California Avenue, north to Washington Street before turning into the Complex grounds and arriving at the outdoor stage on the North side of the Capitol.
Bands from Cabell Midland High School, North Marion High School, Fayetteville High School, Burch High School, Liberty High School, Cameron High School, Lincoln County High School, Webster County High School, Big Creek High School, James Monroe High School and Capital High School will participate. In addition, the Christmas ornament winners and the Color Guard, provided by South Charleston Junior ROTC, along with Santa Claus also will join the parade.
The ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. with the Posting of the Colors, the tree lighting by the Governor and First Lady and the singing of the “National Anthem” by Brian M. Deweese of Charleston. The tree at the stage was donated by Dorothy Walker. The tree in the fountain area was donated by Sherry Rasberry.
The first floor Rotunda area will have the Doddridge County Elementary School Chorus and The Kanawha Valley Ringers in concert. There also will be a Toys for Tots box available for donations.
The governor and first lady will recite “Twas the Night Before Christmas” at the Governor’s Mansion. In addition, students from the Governor’s School for the Arts including Bayan Misaghi, George Washington High School; Taylor Giorgio, Christian Seidhaus, and Emily Peden, all from Capital High School; and Christian Smith, home school student, will perform.
The Culture Center is the final stop for Joyful Night activities. The Trinity Bell Tones, Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Karen L. Stouch, director, will perform followed by the Hurricane High School Red Hots Show Choir under the direction of Ilse Long.
Other trees which were donated include the tree on the South side of the Capitol at the Lincoln Plaza and in the Governor’s Reception Room which are courtesy of Kathy Matthews, and the tree at the Greenbrier Street entrance to the Capitol Complex which was provided by Wendy Kester.
The 2009 limited edition West Virginia Governor’s Mansion Ornament was designed and painted by Theresa K. Currence and is on sale in the West Virginia Museum Shop at the Culture Center for #$25. The First Lady’s Christmas Ornament winners are the Augusta Levy Learning Center in Wheeling for grades K-2; the Malden Elementary fourth grade class from Malden for grades 3 - 5; the Trap Hill Middle School eighth grade from Glen Daniel for grades 6 - 8; and the Brook High School Studio Art Class in Wellsburg for grades 9 - 12.
For more information about the Joyful Night activities, contact Jacqueline Proctor, deputy commissioner for the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, at (304) 558-0220.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. Its administrative offices are located at the Culture Center in the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, which also houses the state archives and state museum. The Culture Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. The agency also operates a network of museums and historic sites across the state. For more information about the Division’s programs, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
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