Christmas at the Capitol | Midwest Living

Christmas at the Capitol

500 E. Capitol Ave.
Pierre  South Dakota  57501
United States
(605) 773-3011
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Dan Daly
From Thanksgiving to Christmas, South Dakota's Capitol transforms into an indoor forest with 100 brightly decorated trees, each with its own theme.

Pierre's Christmas at the Capitol has the power to turn even the most hardcore Grinch wide-eyed with holiday wonder. For one month each year, the marble halls and soaring rotunda of South Dakota's century-old capitol make a stunning backdrop for more than 100 Christmas trees decorated by community groups and state agencies. The display attracts thousands of awed visitors each year.

Some of the trees are somber; the South Dakota Peace Officers Association decorates its offering with photos of law enforcement officers who’ve died in the line of duty. In 2011, emergency responder gear adorned a tree dedicated to volunteers who helped with Missouri River flooding. Other trees are more traditional.

A series of one-day events coincide with Christmas at the Capitol to heighten the holiday experience. On the day after Thanksgiving, the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center hosts a museum open house and the Pierre community puts on its annual downtown Parade of Lights. A couple of weeks later, the capitol invites guests in for Pie Day, when politicians bake and serve pies to the public. 

November 25, 2011

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