First Lady Susan Corbett Kicks off a 'Pennsylvania Christmas' at the Governor's Residence

Dec 05, 2011, 11:00 ET from Pennsylvania Office of the First Lady

HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "A Pennsylvania Christmas," a decorating theme celebrating official state symbols, will welcome visitors to the Governor's Residence this holiday season, First Lady Susan Corbett said today.

"The governor and I are excited to welcome Pennsylvanians to the Governor's Residence during the holiday season," said Susan Corbett. "We chose 'A Pennsylvania Christmas' to recognize the natural beauty and uniqueness of our commonwealth. We hope that visitors will enjoy this holiday tribute to Pennsylvania."

Christmas trees donated by the Pennsylvania Christmas Tree Growers Association adorn the building's public areas. Each tree has a specific theme, including White-Tailed Deer, Flagship Niagara, and Brook Trout -- among others. Several original pieces of artwork are also on display, including those of nature artist Ned Smith and artist Nick Ruggieri.

Each tree has two ornaments featuring the Corbett's Airedale puppies, Penny and Harry. The ornaments are hidden on the trees so that children can try to find them.

The Residence, located at 2035 N. Front St. in Harrisburg will be open for holiday tours from noon to 2 p.m. on Dec. 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, and 14. 

A holiday open house will be held from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Dec. 11. The event will feature musical entertainment by a bell choir, violinists, choral groups and pianists. The open house is part of Historic Harrisburg Association's annual Candlelight House Tour. 

Visitors will have an opportunity to sign holiday cards to send to members of the military, veterans and their families as part of the American Red Cross "Holiday Mail for Heroes" program. Cards will be available at the tours on Dec. 5, 6 and 7 as well as the Dec. 11 open house. The cards signed at the open house will be sent to VA medical centers throughout the state.

There is no cost to attend the holiday tours or open house and reservations are not required. No cameras, large bags, purses or totes are permitted.

For more information, contact the Residence tour line at 717-772-9130. Learn more about the Governor's Residence online at Select the links for "Office of the First Lady," then "The Governor's Residence."

Media contacts:

Kirsten Page, Governor's Office; 717-783-1116

Ashley Chunko, First Lady's Office; 717-787-1965

Editor's Note: The Residence's 2011 Christmas tree themes and artwork follows:

Coal – This tree, located in the State Entrance, highlights the historical importance of coal in Pennsylvania's history. Pieces of coal, a miner's helmet and related items are featured on this tree.

White-Tailed Deer – Located in the Governor's Library, this tree includes real antlers that were shed by deer in Pennsylvania. The antlers are on loan from the PA Game Commission. The white-tailed deer is Pennsylvanian's state animal. The Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art loaned the painting "Moonlight Buck" to be displayed in the library for the holidays.

Flagship Niagara – This tree, located in the Erie Room, is a tribute to Pennsylvania's official flagship, which was instrumental during the War of 1812.  The tree features a maritime theme with authentic sailor's rope and "Don't give up the ship" flags. The painting "The Brig Niagara" by Harrisburg artist Nick Ruggieri is featured alongside the tree. The painting is on loan from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Brook Trout – Located in the Family Dining Room, this tree honors the state fish, the Brook Trout. Decorations include hooks, bobbers, fishing poles and other fishing-related items that are on loan from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. The painting "The Last Drake" by nature artist Ned Smith is on display. The artwork is on loan from the Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art in Millersburg.

Mountain Laurel and Firefly - Located in the Grand Hall Entrance, this tree highlights the official state flower and insect. It is decorated with images of mountain laurels and lights resembling fireflies. The painting "The Mountain Laurel" by Harrisburg artist Nick Ruggieri is featured in the Grand Hall. The painting is on loan from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Ruffed Grouse –The Ruffed Grouse is the official bird of Pennsylvania. This tree is located in the Mellon Parlor and is decorated with feathers provided by the Ruffed Grouse Society. The painting "Springtime Grouse" by nature artist Ned Smith is featured in the room. It is on loan from the Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art.

Milk and Chocolate Chip Cookies – Milk and Chocolate Chip Cookies is the theme of the "Children's Tree" in the State Reception Room. Milk is the official state beverage, and chocolate chip cookies are traditionally left out for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. The decorations on this tree were made by students at the Nativity School in Harrisburg. The decorations include milk caps and milk cartons donated by 13 dairies from across Pennsylvania.

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the First Lady