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National tree has Chamberlain connection

CHAMBERLAIN — St. Joseph’s Indian School students worked with artist Marcia Holliway to design and create ornaments for South Dakota’s tree in the 2013 National Christmas Tree display.

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Selected by the governor, they join artists and youth from each U.S. state, territory and the District of Columbia.

Students worked with Holliway on the ornaments during workshops at St. Joseph’s Indian School as part of the South Dakota Arts Council’s Artists In Schools & Communities program.

“We were asked to share what Christmas in South Dakota is like,” Holliway said. “We focused on sharing the students’ unique heritage and the South Dakota way of life. Pulling inspiration from tribal flags and traditions, as well as cold Dakota winters, they planned out their designs and used several types of materials in the ornaments.”

As one of America’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 in President’s Park. 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.

Four weeks of holiday events in President’s Park will kick off with the 91st National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony presented by the National Park Service and National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. The National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will be Friday, Dec. 6, starting at 5.30 p.m. For more information, visit

Source: St. Joseph’s Indian School