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McKee to hold State House holiday celebration and tree lighting

This is a file image of the State House Christmas tree lit outside. (WLNE)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Gov. Dan McKee and the First Family are holding Rhode Island’s annual State House holiday celebration and tree lighting next week.

“The holiday season is the most festive time of year, and the State House Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting is one of the best ways for Rhode Islanders to come together and spread holiday cheer,” McKee said. “My family and I are excited to join Rhode Islanders from all 39 cities and towns at the State House to enjoy a night filled with holiday merriment, celebration and cheer, and fun, family entertainment as we kick off a happy holiday season.”

Both the celebration and tree lighting are scheduled for Wednesday. The celebration will kick off at 5 p.m., and the Christmas tree lighting will follow an hour later.

The tree will also have handmade decorations that pay homage to the state’s fallen soldiers.

Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos is equally as excited for the holiday festivities.

“Rhode Island is starting this season of giving by remembering those that gave everything for our country and by giving back to those in need,”  Matos said. “I can’t wait to see the State House rotunda lit up with the warm glow of the holiday lights and to hear carols in the halls!”

Afterward, Rhode Island’s First Lady, Susan McKee, and the governor are going to read a Christmas classic: “The Night Before Christmas.”

The celebrations are also set to include musical performances by “The Governor’s Own” 88th Army Band, Cranston High School East, Wilbur & McMahon School, Saint Raphael Academy and singer Billy Gilman, who grew up in Rhode Island.

There will also be an appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus. Both will be available to take photos with the kids; families are asked to come with their own cameras.

Those who are attending are encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy for the Rhode Island State Police’s “Fill a Cruiser” holiday drive. The toys will be given to children in need, and those who donate are automatically signed up for a raffle.

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