Some of the holiday decorations are already in place inside the Indiana Statehouse. They are decorations that will look a lot different this year than in years past. First Lady Karen Pence is driving the change.
Mrs. Pence wanted holiday decorations with a more professional look. Many of the of the decorations in the past were created by school children. This year trained decorators will do the job.
A 12-foot wreath already hangs inside the Statehouse Rotunda. It was paid for with private donations and will be reused next year. It’s a key component to the new look sought by Karen Pence.
“It was great last year but I really feel like there was a lot we could do differently,” she said, “and we started a year ago and we took lots of ideas.”
The problem is that, in past years, a 30-foot tree was only partially decorated. School children who did the job using decorations they made couldn’t reach branches on the upper half of the tree.
Plus, 30-foot trees are now in short supply.
And so when state Senator Richard Young wrote the First Lady last year suggesting an upgrade, she paid attention. He sent along a link to this slide show of decorations at other state capitols around the country.
“Indiana’s was not quite up to par with most of the other states,” said state Archivist Jim Corridan, “because the tree didn’t look quite as professional as the other states.”
And so now 7 smaller trees will be added to compliment the wreath. They arrive next week. The biggest will be 12 feet tall..
“We just thought it’d be fun to have kind of a little vignette of trees this year,” said Mrs. Pence.
“The wreath is in colored lights,” said Corridan. “That’s because Governor Pence likes colored lights and all of the trees will be in white lights because Mrs. Pence likes white lights and so this is the compromise we came up with.”
The lights on the wreath also reflect the colors that appear in the stained glass above the rotunda.
School children will still take part in the lighting ceremony next Friday. They will also make their own ornaments but this time the ornaments will go home with them.