Atlanta, GA - (December 3, 2019) Governor and First Lady Kemp hosted their first State Capitol Tree Lighting Ceremony as Governor and First Lady of Georgia at 1 p.m. in the North Wing of the Capitol.  Georgia Building Authority’s Executive Director Marty Smith, nationally syndicated talk show host Clark Howard, and even Santa and Mrs. Claus joined them in celebrating and listening to the Grammy Award Winning Atlanta Boy Choir.

Governor and First Lady Kemp welcomed assistance from their daughter Amy Porter Kemp in lighting the twenty-five-foot, 1,500-pound Eastern Red Cedar. Kathy Zahul, Richard Littleton, and Shane Bramlett from the Georgia Department of Transportation helped to make this ceremony possible by donating and transporting the tree to the Capitol from Cobb County.

The Georgia Building Authority provided decorations that currently line the grand staircases and balconies of the North and South Wings of the Capitol, illuminating the historic building with holiday magic. The grand tree, located in the Rotunda, holds 25,000 lights on it (over 4,000 feet!). The holiday decorations will remain in the Capitol for visitors to observe throughout the holiday season. 

First Lady Marty Kemp hand selected recipes from Georgia Grown’s Chef Holly Chute for the reception. Attendees enjoyed citrus shortbread and blueberry-satusma and orange slice cookies, along with Wasail Punch and hot chocolate.  

This year’s ceremony highlighted the Department of Family and Children Services’ Secret Santa Program along with Clark Howard’s “Clark's Christmas Kids.” This year’s Secret Santa Program received over 9,000 present request lists from children in Georgia’s Foster Care System. For 29 years, Howard helped serve these children through "Clark's Christmas Kids."

Please visit the Department of Family and Children Services’ Secret Santa Program for more details on how you can brighten a child’s holiday. 

Governor’s official photos of the ceremony