Bernadine George and the Cherokee Central Schools have been selected to create the state tree ornaments for North Carolina to be featured at this year’s National Christmas Tree Lighting event hosted by the National Park Foundation and National Park Service. The event was held on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010, at 5:00 p.m., on the Ellipse in Washington, D.C.
“It is always an honor for us as Cherokees to have the opportunity to showcase our rich history. By allowing our students to participate, we not only have an opportunity to reinforce our culture; but an opportunity to educate the public. After all, native American history is not only at the foundation of this great state; but at the core of this great nation.” Yona Wade, Cultural Arts Center Director
This year, one artist and youth group were selected from each US state, territory and the District of Columbia to design and create 26 ornaments. Twenty-five of the ornaments will be hung from the state or territorial tree as part of the National Christmas Tree display on the Ellipse. One of the ornaments will decorate the White House Visitor Center Christmas tree which showcases each state/territory ornament.
Five students from Cherokee Elementary, Cherokee Middle and Cherokee high were chosen by their art teachers to participate in this activity which was headed by the Cultural Arts Center.
“We are delighted to have Bernadine George and the Cherokee Central Schools participating in this year’s National Christmas tree display,” said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. “This event is a wonderful example of how our national parks connect us as a nation.”
As one of our country’s oldest holiday traditions, the National Christmas Tree Lighting began on Christmas Eve in 1923, when President Calvin Coolidge lit a Christmas tree in front of 3,000 spectators on the Ellipse.
Since 1923, each succeeding President has carried on the tradition of what now has become a month-long event presented by the National Park Foundation and National Park Service. In addition to the National Christmas Tree display, the Ellipse hosts a variety of family-oriented holiday attractions, such as the Santa’s Workshop, nightly holiday performances, a Yule log, nativity scene, and model train display.
– Source: National Park Service