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It’s beginning to look a lot like a different Christmas

Given the way things have gone so far this year, it should come as no surprise that Christmas 2020 is shaping up to be … so 2020.
There was no traditional Christmas tree lighting ceremony and carols at the Nebraska Capitol this year because there’s no Christmas tree in the popular Capitol Rotunda. The Capitol Commission decided it was best to keep staff and the public away from the coronavirus by avoiding the three C’s: crowded places, close contact and confined spaces.
It takes a Herculean effort each year to cut a tall pine or fir tree donated by a family or tree nursery and haul it to the Capitol. Staff from several state agencies are involved each year and it takes a number of people just to muscle the tree up the outside steps on the north side of the building to get it to the second-floor rotunda. Then it has to be erected, strung with lights and decorated with ornaments from Nebraska’s 93 counties.
The Capitol Commission says that puts a large number of people in close proximity, which could lead to infection. Makes sense at a time when Nebraska is seeing increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases with no clear end in sight.
Instead, to celebrate the Christmas season, colored lights were placed on two large concolor firs at the base of the Capitol’s north plaza. A smaller tree was also placed and decorated in the reception room of the governor’s office in the northeast quadrant of the second floor.
Good show. The outdoor trees allow more people to see the Christmas lights.

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