Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin will host the 80th Anniversary of the State Capitol Lighting Ceremony. This year’s emcees will be local celebrities Officer Tommy Norman and "Big Sarge" Vince Sherrill.


In the last two lighting ceremonies, Secretary Martin chose to honor those who have dedicated themselves to public service, including firefighters and law enforcement officers. This year, we honor the men and women of our nation's military, many of whom cannot be with their families during the holidays. 


The tradition of lighting the Capitol began in 1938, when then Secretary of State “Crip” Hall began this time-honored tradition as a gift to children at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.  He himself suffered from polio as a child and wanted to help lift the spirits of children suffering from life threatening illnesses.  Not only did he lift their spirits, but as a leader, he showed empathy, kindness, and joy to these children in their time of need.  In honor of this tradition, we continue to light the entire Capitol Building so it will be visible from Arkansas Children’s Hospital.  


Weather permitting, the Capitol Lighting will be followed by fireworks.  After the fireworks, the public is invited to come into the Capitol for activities and to see all of the Christmas decorations.  The Arkansas Gospel Mass Choir will perform on the second floor of the rotunda.  Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand to see all of the children in his workshop, also in the second floor rotunda.  Children's author Carol Dabney will host a music and story time in the Old Supreme Court Room.


Come join us for a great time of holiday fun at your Arkansas State Capitol on Saturday evening, December 1st, starting at 5:30 pm, after the Little Rock Big Jingle Jubilee Holiday Parade.  This is a free, family-friendly event.


If you cannot join us at the Lighting Ceremony, the Capitol will be open to the public for extended hours during the December holiday season. The Capitol will be open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 9 pm, and on weekends and holidays from 10 am to 9 pm. 

11-22-18 6:26 a.m. kawx.org 

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