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State Capitol tree lighting ceremony, Executive Mansion open house this week

Posted December 7, 2015
Updated December 10, 2015

Official state Christmas tree Official state Christmas tree aglow at Capitol building

State government buildings are gearing up for Christmas. The annual tree lighting ceremony at the State Capitol and Executive Mansion open house are this week.

At the State Capitol, festivities start at 5 p.m. with luminaries and holiday music by the Raleigh Concert Band and the Middlesex Church of God Trio. Gov. Pat McCrory will light the 24-foot tree, which sit on the south grounds, at 6:15 p.m. The Junior Woman's Club will give away cookies and hot chocolate. Mascots and Santa will make an appearance.

The program moves indoors at 6:30 p.m. for an annual holiday open house inside the historic State Capitol, which is bounded by Edenton, Salisbury, Morgan and Wilmington streets. You'll hear more music and see more Christmas trees and decorations.

The nearby N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences also will be open until 9 p.m., Thursday. You can find a lot of free parking along the street and in state government lots after 5 p.m.

The Executive Mansion also will host a holiday open house starting next Thursday. Hours are 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday; noon to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday. Admission is free. Visitors can enter through the main gate on Blount Street. I take my kids and mom to the open house each year to see the gigantic Christmas trees and enjoy some great music from local groups.

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