New this year: Bells, balls, candy canes adorn state Capitol tree

The state Christmas tree that adorns the Capitol Rotunda each year arrived Monday.

The annual public tree lighting ceremony, sponsored by the Association of Washington Business, is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday.

For more than 20 years, AWB has sponsored the Holiday Kids’ Tree Project, in which members and private individuals

provide toys, food and other contributions that are distributed to needy families in rural parts of the state by firefighters from Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Thurston, Grant, Walla Walla and Spokane counties.

This year’s tree will be decorated with 5,000 LED lights and new decorations that include red and green balls, red-and-white candy canes, silver bells and more, paid for by the AWB.

The lower branches will hold stuffed animals and books that will be donated to local organizations.