Official Christmas Tree arrives at South Carolina State House

November 7, 2022

South Carolina’s official Christmas Tree arrived at the South Carolina State House this morning following a brief press conference on the North Lawn. Kelly Barbrey, vice president of marketing and communications with Experience Columbia SC, thanked the many individuals and organizations that helped make this year’s tree possible. Experience Columbia SC is the presenting sponsor of the 56th Annual Governor’s Carolighting.

This year’s tree is a 35-foot-tall Norway Spruce, and comes to us from Henderson Tree Farms in Morganton, N.C.  This is the first year the tree has been grown closer to home, which makes it a larger, taller, fuller tree. The Columbia Garden Club, with support from the Garden Club of South Carolina, procured the state’s Christmas tree.

The Christmas tree’s journey to the State House is a special ritual for Bruce Vollnogle, owner of TimberTech in Greer, SC. This is the 18th consecutive year that Vollnogle and his team donated their time and services to pick up the tree and bring it to Columbia. R.J. Shirley also donates the crane to move the tree to its spot for the Christmas season.

Decorating such a large tree is no simple feat. Dominion Energy will string over 13,000 LED lights and the garden clubs will hang 900 ornaments in the coming days, according to Melissa Prickett with the Garden Club of South Carolina. She also noted that the tree will don some new ornaments this year.

A longtime family tradition, the event brings South Carolinians together for caroling and the ceremonial tree lighting. The tree will stay dark until the 56th Annual Governor’s Carolighting on Sun., Nov. 20. Carolighting festivities begin at 6 p.m. on the South Carolina State House’s North Lawn and will be televised live on SCETV. Performers include the Carolighting Children’s Choir, Southern Bronze Handbell Ensemble, Miss South Carolina Jill Dudley, The Mark Rapp Group, HBCU choirs from across South Carolina and more. Santa will arrive prior to the program to visit with families and will be available for photos.

The 56th Annual Governor’s Carolighting is sponsored by Experience Columbia SC, the Columbia Garden Club and the Garden Club of South Carolina.

About Experience Columbia SC

Experience Columbia SC is the region’s destination marketing organization. We’re responsible for all marketing efforts intended to help more visitors discover all that makes Columbia the real Southern hot spot. Think of us as the biggest cheerleader for the heart of South Carolina. For more information, visit