BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — Thursday night many North Dakotans gathered at the capitol to celebrate the Annual State Christmas Lighting Ceremony.

So many people came out to the event that many had to stand or sit on the floor.

The theme this year is based on the First Lady’s platform of instilling hope in people who are recovering from addiction.

Following tradition, the tree was lit by three people who are in recovery right now.

The tree has been decorated with hundreds of ornaments made by people all across the state.

They sent them in over the last month to both inspire hope and spread Christmas cheer.

This year’s ceremony featured performances from the 2022 Governor’s Band, the Bismarck Century High School Wind Ensemble; the Horizon Middle School Sixth Grade Choir; and pianist Joel Gilbertson.

Free holiday cookies, hot chocolate, and apple cider were available for attendees.