Around the week after Thanksgiving, the holidays start to pop up in and around the Texas Capitol! The House and Senate Chambers are decorated with Virginia pine trees from a north Texas tree farm. The trees were harvested and transported with assistance from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). The TPWD park rangers from Eisenhower State Park named the Senate tree "Mamie" (after former First Lady Eisenhower), and Lake Mineral Wells State Park rangers called the House's tree "Ruby," honoring the beautiful red color of the cardinals who reside in their park.
Clockwise from left: 1) Senate chambers decorated with "Mamie," as well as its traditional poinsettias on each desk. 2) Wreaths adorn the gallery of the Senate. 3) Each representative's district contributes an ornament to decorate "Ruby." 4) The day after "Ruby" arrived in the House chamber, staff worked to adorn the tree with lights and other decorations.
Holiday spirit is not contained to the chambers, though! The sights and sounds of the season are all over through the month of December. You can read past blog posts to learn more about the holiday season at the Capitol.
Clockwise from left: 1) Visitors approaching the Capitol from Congress will see the tree just outside the Capitol grounds. 2) A wreath adorns the door into the Governor's Public Reception Room on the second floor of the Capitol. 3) The "Holiday Wishes" tree gives Capitol staffers the opportunity to fill holiday wishes for children in the care of Child Protective Services. 4) and 5) The Capitol Rotunda plays host to many different performing groups throughout the holiday season. 4) On December 16, members of the Austin Symphony donned reindeer antlers as they performed and children gathered around. 5) The Dripping Springs High School Jazz Cats sang in the Rotunda on December 5.