- Associated Press - Sunday, November 27, 2016

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The annual lighting of the Christmas tree in the Rhode Island Statehouse rotunda has been scheduled.

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo announced the tree lighting ceremony and holiday celebration will take place on Thursday. She will host the event with her husband, Andy Moffit.

The original tree, a 14-foot-tall Fraser fir donated by a tree farm, was removed after staff decided it was too puny. It was replaced by a 20-foot-tall Balsam.

The lighting ceremony will feature a visit from Santa and performances by two school choirs and the Rhode Island Army National Guard’s “Governor’s Own” 88th Army Band.

Unwrapped toys will be collected to benefit local children in need.

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. The tree will be lit at 6:15 p.m.

The public is invited to attend.

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