State Capitol Information
Caring for the almost century-old State Capitol and its surrounding landscape is the focus of the Building & Grounds Division of the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office. A variety of tradesmen maintain and preserve the Capitol itself, as well as the Capitol Hill Building and features around the campus. Housekeeping staff attend each of the offices located in the building while others nurture the 51 varieties of roses found in the Capitol’s test gardens. For more information on this department, visit room 256 or call 501-682-1010.
Come celebrate the holidays at the Arkansas State Capitol!
2013 Holiday Events
- Pearl Harbor Commemoration and
75th Anniversary Capitol Lighting Ceremony, Saturday, Dec. 7, at dusk
- Festival of Music, Dec. 9-20, State Capitol Rotunda, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Extended hours for the holidays through January 2
7 a.m. - 9 p.m. Weekdays
10 a.m. - 9 p.m. Weekends
Join Us for the 75th Anniversary Capitol Christmas
It can’t be Christmastime in Arkansas
without its official kick-off event — the State Capitol Lighting Ceremony, which marks its 75th anniversary on Saturday, December 7, 2013.
The tradition began on December 18, 1938, when the Capitol’s dome and central pediment first came ablaze with the light of 1,000 red and blue electric bulbs. Just above the Capitol Avenue steps, then-Secretary of State Crip Hall placed a 25-foot evergreen on a turntable, its branches painted silver and illuminated by blue lights.
For this year’s celebration, Capitol elves are busy putting the finishing touches on lights and decorations, including some new touches for 2013. It all gets underway with the arrival of the Capitol Christmas tree, slated for December 2. The annual lighting ceremony begins at dusk on Saturday, December 7, following Little Rock’s Big Jingle Jubilee Downtown Christmas Parade. Choirs from around the state will then fill the Capitol halls with sounds of the season over the following two weeks.
Whether you come for the lights and fireworks of the lighting ceremony, the music or the wonderful scenery throughout the Christmas season, we look forward to sharing the spirit of the season with you.
The Pearl Harbor Commemoration & Lighting Ceremony
This year’s lighting ceremony coincides with Pearl Harbor Day. The Annual Pearl Harbor Remembrance reminds us to stay hopeful for peace, not only during the holiday season, but continually throughout the year. This ceremony will open the evening activities at the Capitol with a solemn reminder of the service and sacrifice of the survivors and their families.
The Fleet Reserve Association and Natural State Brass Band will lead the Pearl Harbor Remembrance. That ceremony will lead directly into the 75th anniversary of the Capitol’s lighting.
Representatives from the Arkansas Easter Seals Society will help Secretary of State Mark Martin illuminate the Capitol with hundreds of thousands of lights outlining the building. The blue lights just above the Capitol’s front entrance, spelling “Peace” in honor of Arkansas’s veterans of Pearl Harbor, will be lit during the Capitol lighting ceremony. And this year the back of the building will be lit for the first time.
The lighting ceremony concludes with a grand finale of fireworks high above the gleaming Capitol dome. This will be seen across the capital city’s sky.
Afterward, families can venture inside the Capitol to discover perfect backdrops for family photos. The Top of the Rock Chorus will perform in the rotunda, and the most anticipated man of the holiday season will make an appearance to welcome the children and find out who’s been naughty or nice!
Be sure to stop by Santa’s Workshop on the Capitol’s second floor while in line to see the jolly old elf. Kids will get to sneak a peek into Santa’s office, mailroom and assembly line.
Decking the Halls
The Capitol Christmas Tree crowns the Capitol’s display again this year, rising from the first-floor rotunda. The tree is scheduled for delivery to the Capitol on December 2. The lights and scenery will remain through New Year’s.
Sounds of the Season
Music of the holiday season will flow through the halls of the Capitol during the weeks of December 9 through December 20. Approximately 175 school choirs and dance troupes will perform in the Capitol rotunda during the season. They can be heard each weekday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s a highlight of the season for the performers and State Capitol staff members, as well as the many family members who also make the trip to Little Rock.
The series of collectible Capitol ornaments continues this year. This year’s ornament is an oval depicting the Capitol’s dome, dominated by the Arkansas
For the second year, a portion of the proceeds from ornament sales will be donated to Arkansas Children’s Hospital.
The ornament is available in the Capitol Gift Shop or online, along with previous ornaments in the series.