BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — Governor Doug Burgum and First Lady Kathryn Burgum are encouraging the public to join them for music, carols, and a holiday reading at the 41st annual North Dakota State Christmas Tree lighting ceremony.

According to a news release, the ceremony will be at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday in Memorial Hall at the Capitol.

The theme of this year’s Christmas tree is “Inspire Hope,” in connection with the first lady’s platform of instilling hope in people to know that recovery from the disease of addiction is possible.

The theme also broadly applies to the notion that every person can inspire hope in others.

This year’s ceremony will feature 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 cookies, hot chocolate, and apple cider will be available to all attendees. Everyone is welcome to attend and view the submitted handmade ornaments featured on the State Christmas Tree.

Following the tradition established during the past four ceremonies, the tree will be ceremoniously lit by three individuals in recovery and their families to signify hope, opportunity, and renewal.

Those that attend may park in the visitors’ lot, south of the Capitol, and enter the building through the south entrance.

The ceremony will be live-streamed on the Facebook pages of the governor and first lady.