Christmas at the Capitol kicks off “Merry Prairie Christmas”

“Christmas at the Capitol” is officially underway in Pierre.
“Christmas at the Capitol” is officially underway in Pierre.
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 9:13 AM CST
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PIERRE, S.D. - It is officially a Merry Prairie Christmas in Pierre.

Tuesday night, the 2022 Grand Lighting Ceremony for “Christmas at the Capitol” took place in the Capitol rotunda in Pierre.

This year, roughly 82 trees are up around the building, all decorated by different organizations.

“Our Capitol is a beautiful piece of architecture, that is true even by itself without decorations or trees,” said Rick Holloway. “It is really a spectacular place. Decorating for the holiday season really just pushes it over the edge.”

The South Dakota Shriners were tasked with decorating the main tree in the building this year. After being cut down to fit into the building, that tree measured in at 29.5 feet, and was cut down in Pierre.

Shriners also provided musical entertainment at the lighting ceremony.

“Knowing that it was our 100th anniversary of our hospitals, and the 150th of our fraternal organization, we and the organizers thought it would be a great opportunity to come down and participate,” said Matt Sturlaugson, Imperial Officer with Shriners International.

This year’s prairie theme, which is capitalized on with different “prairie” themed decorations, is intended to be an ode to what makes South Dakota special.

“The prairie ties us to our families, it ties us to things that never change, it ties us to things that are simple and make South Dakota a great place to live,” said Governor Kristi Noem.

“If you’re not ready for the holidays by the time you come see the trees in the rotunda, you’ll be ready for the holidays after you see this,” said Holloway.

The display will be up everyday from 8 AM to 10 PM until December 26th.