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story.lead_photo.caption Leighanne Harvey with the state Capitol gift shop and Carla Minchew with Bella Flora Florist work on the 25-foot faux Rockefeller Pine Christmas tree in the state Capitol on Wednesday afternoon. ( Lisa Burnett)

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the state Capitol.

Laura Labay, spokesman for Secretary of State Mark Martin, said assembly of the Capitol's Christmas tree began Tuesday.

This year's tree — a faux, 25-foot Rockefeller Pine — is going up almost a full two weeks earlier than usual, according to Democrat-Gazette archives. Labay said it's also the first time since 1995 that a live Christmas tree hasn't been used in the state Capitol.

"Since the time frame is so long, it's hard to keep a tree alive for that long," Labay said.

The tree is decorated by Bella Flora Design Studio, which also decorated the 2013 Christmas tree, Labay said.

The topper on the tree is made by Pine Bluff glass artist James Hayes. Labay said Hayes, whose art is featured in the Capitol gift shop, loaned the tree topper to the Capitol for the holiday season.

The tree is scheduled to be on display from Wednesday until the beginning of 2015.

State Capitol Christmas trees

  • 2013: A 28-foot White Fir was erected on Nov. 29.
  • 2012: A 21-foot Leyland Cypress was erected on Nov. 26.
  • 2011: A 24-foot Eastern Red Cedar was erected on Nov. 30.
  • 2010: A 20-foot Leyland Cypress was erected on Nov. 30.
  • 2009: A 25-foot Leyland Cypress was erected on Dec. 1.

Christmas tree goes up at the state Capitol

A 25-foot artificial Rockafeller pine Christmas tree was set up at the state Capitol Tuesday and Wednesday. This is the first year for the Capitol to have an artificial tree since 1995. (By Lisa Burnett)
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