Governor’s tree ready for lighting |

Governor’s tree ready for lighting

RHONDA COSTA-LANDERS, Appeal Features Writer

For the first time in the history of Nevada’s Governor’s Mansion, a lighted Christmas tree will be presented to the people of Nevada at 6 p.m. Tuesday evening.

Dressed in formal attire, Gov. Kenny Guinn and first lady Dema, will have the honors of flipping the switch.

Scheduled to perform is the Carson High School Choir under the direction of Stewart Peebles, who will sing special holiday selections before and after the lighting of the tree. Santa Claus will be present also with a full-size sleigh and reindeers, to hand out candy canes to all the children.

Several months ago, Dema Guinn invited all elementary school children to make an ornament to be hung on the tree. Most of the ornaments will already be placed on the tree, with a few children getting the honors of hanging theirs during the event.

“I want the kids who have made the ornaments to be able to come by in 20 or 40 years, and say ‘I made that ornament,’ ” said Dema Guinn.

“I will have this tree every year. I want this to be special for the children. Something they will remember for a long time. And I do hope the next first lady will carry on the tradition.”

The new tree is a live, 25-foot blue spruce, donated along with three birch trees to the Guinns and the people of Nevada by Jimmy Marsh Kinard and Stacy Marsh, longtime friends and former neighbors of the Guinns in Las Vegas. It was planted in the southeast corner lawn of the mansion Nov. 18.

The four trees cost about $8,000. The blue spruce is expected to grow 3-4 feet a year and will produce eight 12-inch pine cones, or “candles,” as they are commonly called.

Those attending the lighting can expect temperatures in the low 40s, light winds and a slight chance of snow showers.