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Christmas celebrations at Nebraska State Capitol fall victim to COVID pandemic | Omaha State and Regional News

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Hundreds attend the 70th annual tree lighting at the Nebraska State Capitol on on Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017.

LINCOLN — Add the Nebraska State Capitol Christmas celebrations to the list of pandemic victims.

There will be no Christmas tree in the Rotunda this year and no tree-lighting ceremony. No Carol Sing for the public, and none of the usual holiday tuba and brass concerts.

State officials made the announcement Tuesday, saying the events are being canceled to help visitors and staff prevent infection by avoiding the three C’s: crowded places, close contact and confined spaces.

But the Capitol will not be totally devoid of holiday spirit. The two large concolor fir trees at the base of the Capitol’s north plaza will be illuminated with colored lights. There also will be a smaller tree in the reception room of the Governor’s Office, in the northeast hallway of the second floor.

The Capitol will be open for tours as usual except for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Free guided tours are offered on the hour, except at noon. The tours start at 9 a.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. Saturdays and 1 p.m. Sundays. The last tour starts at 4 p.m. all days.

Christmas in the Omaha area through the years