Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey lights 25-foot-tall tree at state Capitol

Dec 1, 2021, 10:47 AM | Updated: 2:59 pm

PHOENIX (AP) — A 25-foot-tall white pine installed in state Capitol’s executive tower lobby was lit for the first time Wednesday by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey during a celebration marking the start of the holiday season.

The lighting of the Capitol tree is an annual tradition and brings together schoolchildren, state workers and the governor. This year’s celebration featured Christmas carols sung by students from Chandler High School’s choir, the Treblemakers.

Last year’s tree lighting ceremony was forced to be held virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic. Ducey cheered the return to an in-person ceremony, noting that at the time of last year’s lighting vaccines were not available and the state’s economy was just starting to revive from effects of the pandemic shutdowns.

“When you flash forward to today you can see how far we’ve come and how far the state of Arizona has come,” Ducey said. “We’ve distributed the vaccine to more than 4 million people in our state. Our economy is booming and leading the country.”

He added: “We have more people ready to work today than we did before the pandemic and we’ve recovered over 100% of our private sector jobs.”

Also on hand were members of a crew who are rebuilding the old Capitol’s weather-worn and faded copper dome.

Replacing the copper is part of a nearly $12 million project to repair and restore the old Capitol Building approved by the Legislature and Ducey earlier this year. The dome was initially light grey and was sheathed in copper, a mainstay of Arizona’s mining industry, in 1975, then redone again in 2011.

The Christmas Tree was harvested Nov. 19 on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest near Bear Canyon Lake by a crew from the state Department of Forestry and Fire Management.

Ducey closed his remarks by recalling what he said was one of his favorite Christmas season books — “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens.

The story follows Ebenezer Scrooge as he is visited by the ghostly spirits of Christmas past, present and future to show him what’s he has done, is doing and what is possible.

“This year I’m hopeful we can take the same approach to the Christmas season,” Ducey said. “Let’s mourn the lives of those we lost during the pandemic.

“Let’s recognize how far we’ve come as a state and as a people,” he said. “And let’s celebrate the bright future ahead of us.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Barry Markson (Twitter photo/BarryMarkson1)...
Mike O'Neil/The Think Tank

Think Tank talks with practicing attorney and KTAR host Barry Markson

Practicing attorney and sometimes KTAR News 92.3 FM host Barry Markson joins this week's Think Tank to discuss his take on Biden’s recent speech and other topics.
16 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Wills Rice

Storm brings rain, strong wind gusts to metro Phoenix Saturday night

A storm rolled through metro Phoenix Saturday night, bringing rain and wind across the Valley.
16 hours ago
A Valley Metro Rail train drives through downtown on March 26, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. Despite fe...

Phoenix receives $920K for 5-mile streetcar route development in Mesa

The city of Mesa on Friday received a $920,000 grant to manage the planning of a 5-mile streetcar route that would connect four activity centers within the municipality.
16 hours ago
(Phoenix Police Department Photo)...

Phoenix police seek public’s help in identifying suspects who shot 2 teens in December

The Phoenix Police Department is seeking the public's assistance in identifying three suspects who shot two 15-year-old teens in December.
16 hours ago
(Grand Canyon Railway Photo)...

Steam locomotives to pull Grand Canyon Railway trains 11 times this year

The Grand Canyon Railway announced 11 dates for 2022 when vintage steam locomotives will lead the way to and from Arizona's top tourist attraction.
16 hours ago
Arizona State Courts Building (Arizona Governor's Office Photo)...
Associated Press

Arizona Senate’s privilege argument rejected by appeals court

A state appeals court says legislative privilege does not broadly protect the Arizona Senate from having to release hundreds of public records related to the review of the 2020 election.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

HVAC upkeep in Arizona saves money, keeps families prepared in the long run

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.
GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 27: Wide receivers John Brown #12 and Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona C...
Arizona Department of Gaming

The most memorable games in Arizona sports history every fan needs to know

Sports teams in Arizona have seen their fair share of instant classic games, but there's a few that every fan needs to know.
Arizona State University

Gain insights on next year’s trends at 58th Annual Economic Forecast Luncheon

Employment is recovering from the severe contraction induced by the pandemic, but it is still way below levels at the start of 2020. Can it fully recover in the coming year?
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey lights 25-foot-tall tree at state Capitol