Mark your calendar: The governor is set once again to commune with a giant tree outside the Capitol.
The 85th annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony, hosted by Gov. Jerry Brown and first lady Anne Gust Brown, will take place at 5 p.m. Dec. 5 on the west steps. The 60-foot-tall white fir was delivered on Election Day from a state forest near Redding and, as has become tradition, is being decorated with 10,000 low-energy lights and 900 ornaments made by children and adults with developmental disabilities.
This could be the first proper tree lighting ceremony in three years: Heavy rains forced the event indoors in 2014, and Brown canceled last year following the shooting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino.
Alex and Alan Rosales, 7-year-old twins from Los Angeles, will join the Browns to assist with the lighting. Kitty O’Neal of KFBK Radio will emcee the ceremony, which will feature performances from the California Army National Guard’s Detachment 1 40th Infantry Division Band; students from the Oakland Military Institute and Oakland School for the Arts, charter schools that Brown sponsored when he was mayor; Mariachi Puente; and St. Paul’s Baptist Church Choir.
Dec. 5 is shaping up to be a busy day around the Capitol. Lawmakers will also return to Sacramento for the first day of the new legislative session, and there could be a one-day strike by the state-employee union SEIU Local 1000.