Since 2010, the National Parks Service has asked each U.S. state and territory to design ornaments for their own trees that surround the National Christmas Tree display in Washington, D.C.
Ornaments for New Hampshire’s tree were created this year by the Androscoggin River Athletes of Special Olympics—New Hampshire. The group worked with Berlin, NH artist Andre Belanger and several artist assistants to craft a dozen New Hampshire-inspired ornaments that include images of gifts, snowmen, winter landscapes and snow.
The creation of the ornaments is a collaborative effort of the NH Department of Cultural Resources, NH State Council on the Arts, and various community organizations and volunteer artists (most of whom also donate materials). Previous years’ ornaments can be viewed from the links below.
“Before we started making the ornaments, we discussed the beauty found in northern New Hampshire and how it makes us feel to live in such a lovely part of the world,” said Belanger. “The ornaments capture the spirit of our state as seen through the hearts of the Olympians who breathe New Hampshire’s crisp winter air.”
“The collaboration between the Androscoggin River Athletes of the Special Olympics and artist Andre Belanger represents the ‘all-hands-on-deck’ spirit of our people,” said Governor Maggie Hassan. “These ornaments demonstrate the beauty of New Hampshire’s winter landscape and make citizens across the state proud to call the Granite State home.”
The 93rd Annual National Christmas Tree Lighting took place on December 3. New Hampshire’s tree is one of 56 trees – representing each U.S. state, territory and the District of Columbia – that surround the National Christmas Tree in President’s Park outside the White House in Washington, DC.
In 1856, New Hampshire’s own Franklin Pierce became the first president to display a tree at the White House.
Photos (top to bottom):
- Androscoggin River Athletes of the Special Olympics creating the 2015 ornaments
- A 2015 ornament, created by Angela Donato
- A Veterans Home resident and Tilton School student working together in 2014
- Mascoma Valley Regional High School students with Governor Hassan in 2013