The Democratic governor, first lady Kristin Cooper and hundreds gathered on the south side of the old Capitol grounds for the tree-lighting ceremony Wednesday evening. Cooper followed the tradition of previous chief executives. The event featured singing by one of Cooper's daughters and other festive music.
The 1840 Capitol and nearby Executive Mansion - decked out in holiday decorations - also were open Wednesday night for visitors. The public can tour the mansion Thursday, Friday and Saturday, while the Capitol will feature music during those same days.
The Capitol is also collecting food donations for the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle through Dec. 16.
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