Virginia’s Capitol Tree Lighting, 2019

On the evening of December 5, State Forester Rob Farrell and Raina DeFonza (public information specialist) attended the Capitol Tree Lighting Ceremony in Richmond, Virginia with Helen Braunworth, Cindy Crickenberger and Wayne Crickenberger – donors of the Capitol tree. (Read for more details about the selection and harvest of this year’s Capitol tree.)

The weather was clear and cool for the evening event, and students from the orchestra at the Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School provided the musical backdrop. The roughly 20-foot Colorado blue spruce stood tall between pillars in the portico at the Capitol Square and had been trimmed with multi-colored lights.

 

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Student orchestra from Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School provided music for the ceremony.
First Lady Pamela Northam gave the opening remarks, followed by Secretary Bettina Ring and Governor Ralph Northam, who both acknowledged the Braunworth/Crickenberger family for the donated tree.
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Left to right: Wayne Crickenberger, Helen Braunworth, Secretary Bettina Ring, Cindy Crickenberger, and State Forester Rob Farrell, standing in front of the Executive Mansion tree.
The tree lights turned on smoothly to the applause of attendees, and much of the crowd headed to the adjacent Executive Mansion to greet the Governor, observe the interior holiday decor and hear the student orchestra continue to play.