Students, first lady decorate Statehouse Christmas trees

By Adrianna Pitrelli 

INDIANAPOLIS —’Twas three weeks before Christmas when students sat on the floor, ready to fill the Statehouse with Christmas decor. They listened to the first lady, her friends and First Dog Henry, while patiently hoping Santa would come down a chimney.  

First lady Janet Holcomb decorates Statehouse Christmas trees with students Monday. It is part of the annual Hoosier Holidays event. Photo by Adrianna Pitrelli,

Students from across the help decorate trees in the Statehouse. Many of them made their own ornaments. Photo by Adrianna Pitrelli,

“We have gathered here at the Statehouse for our annual decorating party,” First Lady Janet Holcomb told students gathered in the rotunda Monday morning. “It’s a tradition here at the Statehouse that has been carried on for many years.”  

The children sat ready to listen as Holcomb read them “’Twas the Night Before Christmas.”  

A performance of “Jingle Bells” and “O, come All Ye Faithful” by Pike High School’s choir was a show stopper. Pike High School is Gov. Eric Holcomb’s alma mater.  

Henry was at Monday’s Hoosier Holiday event wearing a red Christmas collar. Despite the attention he received from the crowd, he never made a holler.  

About 250 students from around the state made ornaments for the trees. As part of the festivities, each student put an ornament on the tree.

“These ornaments look great — good job,” Holcomb said to the children as they helped decorate three of the 11 Statehouse trees donated as part of the Indiana Christmas Tree Growers Association annual project. “Merry Christmas. Thank you for the help.”  

Holding an ornament made of applesauce and cinnamon, one student said in a loud voice, “I can’t wait to hang this up on this big, fancy tree.”  

The beautiful, tall green Christmas trees fill the atrium for the 58th consecutive year. For Indiana’s first lady, decorating them brought a lot of holiday cheer.  

“It’s a great way to kick off the holiday season at the Statehouse,” Holcomb said. “And we are glad everyone is here to be able to participate in the event and join us today.  

Adrianna Pitrelli is a reporter for, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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