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State Capitol Tree Lighting

Category: Events Calendar

Date and Time for this Past Event



Join the State Capitol and Gov. Roy Cooper for the annual tree-lighting tradition on Thurs., Dec. 12! The festivities begin on Capitol Square at 5:00 p.m. with luminaries and holiday music. There will be music performances by the Raleigh Concert Band and dance by Alicia's School of the Performing Arts.

The governor and dignitaries will make their way to the South grounds at 6:15 p.m. to officially begin the ceremony. The lit tree will be visible the length of Fayetteville Street. The Junior Woman’s Club will give away cookies and hot chocolate – and even Santa is scheduled to make an appearance!

The Capitol’s annual holiday open house will begin at 6:30 p.m. following the ceremony, with the Wake Med Chorus performing. The public is invited inside to see holiday decorations and natural greenery located throughout the building. Also, from Thursday, Dec. 12 – Saturday, Dec. 14 (9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.) the Capitol will have holiday music in the rotunda. 

The N.C. Executive Mansion will host an annual Holiday Open House from 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. following the tree lighting ceremony at the Capitol on Dec. 12. The mansion will also be open for Holiday Open House tours Friday, Dec. 13 and Saturday, Dec. 14, from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., and on Sunday, Dec. 15 from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. 

At the Tree Lighting Ceremony and during the open house at both the Capitol and the Executive Mansion, donations of non-perishable food items will be accepted for a holiday food drive to benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. For a list of most-needed items, visit

Sponsors of the holiday festivities are the State Capitol Foundation, State Historic Sites Division of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, N.C. Department of Administration-Facility Management, and the Junior Woman’s Club of Raleigh. 

All Capitol events are free, and no reservations are needed or accepted. For additional information, please call (919) 733-4994. The State Capitol is located at 1 East Edenton St., Raleigh and is administered by the Division of State Historic Sites within the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.