Perdue, Santa light state Christmas tree
Posted December 10, 2009 4:01 a.m. EST
Updated December 10, 2009 9:55 p.m. EST
Raleigh, N.C. — Gov. Bev Perdue's first year to light the North Carolina state Christmas tree featured something different.
Perdue and her husband, Bob Eaves, turned on the lights Thursday evening on a fir tree brought in from Ashe County and standing on the south side of old Capitol square in downtown Raleigh.
In recent years, then-Gov. Mike Easley lit a large bush-like tree that grows year-round on the old Capitol grounds.
Perdue spokeswoman Chrissy Pearson said the governor liked the idea of placing a tree facing downtown to provide a connection with the decorations along Fayetteville Street.
Santa Claus was also in attendance, and joined the governor in a reading of "The Night Before Christmas."
"We're going to have fun this evening, and we're going to have a wonderful time," Santa said during a morning visit to the WRAL-TV studios.
Singing groups and children's activities followed the tree-lighting ceremony.