Gov. Ivey lights official state Christmas tree during ceremony

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) -The state celebrated the holiday season with a special ceremony Friday night.

The state Christmas tree, sitting at the Alabama state Capitol, was lit for the first time.

Gov. Kay Ivey flipped the switch to light the tree.

The tree is an Eastern Red Cedar tree from Letohatchee. Robbins Taylor Sr. donated the tree.

There are 67 ornaments on the tree, representing Alabama’s 67 counties. Also, there are 35,000 lights on the tree.

Ivey said this season is all about giving and bringing hope. She is also reminding Alabamians to stay vigilant during the COVID-19 pandemic ahead of the holidays.

“This is all about celebrating Christ at Christmas, and the hope and joy that he gives to those who choose to believe in him. I just hope when we light that tree tonight, it signals to all Alabamians that in Christ there is hope,” said Ivey.

Leaders spoke about how difficult of a year it has been for the state, and that the lighting of the tree is meant to be a symbol of hope recovery and restoration.

Ivey added that she hopes when people drive by the tree, they see it’s shining light and a remember that there is hope amid the challenging year.

The event included musical performances by the 151st Army National Guard Band. Speakers included Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed and Major General David Francis of the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker.

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