Downtown Carson City will take on a magical appearance Thursday when the annual Silver and Snowflakes Holiday Tree Lighting begins at 5:30 p.m.
Children's voices will permeate the cold evening air as the Carson City Fifth-Grade Music Students Singing Ensemble accompanied by the Carson Middle School's Red Hot Bell Peppers handbell choir perform.
Families will gather to hear children sing, receive a candy cane from Santa - who will arrive in a 1926 Ford Model T driven by Beau the dog - and watch in awe as the Capitol grounds and all of Carson Street light up in a blissful moment.
Sixteen creative willow reindeer made by local school children and Boy Scouts, under the guidance of "Willow Bill," will be placed on the Capitol lawn and lit with white lights.
Secretary of State Dean Heller will be flipping the switch to the lights. Mrs. Guinn will also be on hand for the festivities.
Dema Guinn said she looks forward to the holidays.
"I am a child at heart," she said. "This is just wonderful - to watch the children."
Guinn said seeing the brilliant display of lights downtown would have to change anyone's frame of mind.
"It's a time for all of us to celebrate the joy in our hearts with our families and friends. And the children. My favorite thing is to watch the eyes of children.
"I like to recall all the warm memories of the holidays. We all grow older, but I don't think Christmas ever grows old. It makes people feel young.
"Just the spirit of Christmas. It comes at a time when it brings us all together as a family. It is one of my most favorite times of year."
After the state tree and downtown lights are lit, a procession will go by candlelight (flashlights are recommended) to the city tree at 6 p.m. on the corner of Nevada and Musser streets, at the First Presbyterian Church.
Chorus of the Comstock and the Homeschool Singers will present songs at the city tree lighting, which will take place at 6:15 p.m.
The public is then welcome to attend the open house at City Hall from 6:30-7 p.m. Art contest winners will be announced and prizes given by Mayor Marv Teixeira.
Refreshments will be served at the open house. The Chorus of the Comstock will also perform.
n Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at email@example.com or 881-1223.
If You Go
WHAT: Silver and Snowflakes Holiday Tree Lighting
WHEN: 5:30 p.m. Thursday
WHERE: Capitol grounds for State tree; procession to city tree at First Presbyterian Church (6 p.m.)
ALSO: City Hall Open House
WHEN: 6:30-7 p.m.
WHERE: 201 N. Carson St.
ALSO: Santa Claus, camels and carriage rides at Telegraph Square for photos
WHEN: 5:30-8:30 p.m.
History of the trees
• Original state tree (fir) was planted in 1876 in the Capitol Square by George Washington Ferris, father of the inventor of the Ferris Wheel.
• In 1937, the Carson City 20-30 Club requested lighting the tree for the Christmas season, which continued until the energy crisis of 1972.
• A Colorado blue spruce was also planted by Ferris in 1876 on the Capitol grounds. The tree was relighted in 1988 by former Gov. Richard Bryan.
• A new tree was planted in 1999 by first lady Dema Guinn, along with one on the mansion grounds to replace the 1876 tree, which is nearing the end of its natural life span.