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NH students and State Artist Laureate create NH’s official ornaments for National Christmas Tree

New Hampshire State Artist Laureate David Lamb and students from Cheryl Cramer’s fifth-grade class at Canterbury Elementary School have collaborated to create New Hampshire’s official tree ornaments that will be featured at this year’s National Christmas Tree Lighting event. The Lighting takes place on Thursday, December 9, 2010, at 5:00 p.m., on the Ellipse in Washington, D.C.

Lamb and the students spent two days making the ornaments, which capture the essence of New Hampshire during the holiday season. Students incorporated sledding, snow, ice, evergreens, snowmen and sugar houses into their winter scenes, which were installed in clear plastic globes. Each is a one-of-a-kind creation.

One of the ornaments will be displayed on the White House Visitor Center Christmas tree, which showcases an ornament from each U.S. state and territory. The others will be hung from New Hampshire’s tree as part of the National Christmas Tree display on the Ellipse.

“The students were quite aware of the high honor of having these works on display in Washington, D.C., with the possibility of theirs being the one that would be on the White House tree,” said Lamb. “They worked hard to make each ornament their very own, using this opportunity to create art that expresses a vision of New Hampshire they wanted to share with the world.”

In 1856, New Hampshire’s Franklin Pierce, fourteenth president of the United States, became the first president to place a Christmas tree in the White House. The National Christmas Tree Lighting began on Christmas Eve in 1923, when President Calvin Coolidge lit a Christmas tree in front of 3,000 spectators on the Ellipse. Since then, each succeeding President has carried on the tradition of what now has become a month-long event presented by the National Park Foundation and National Park Service.

“We are delighted to have David Lamb and Mrs. Cramer’s class participating in this year’s National Christmas tree display,” said Neil Mulholland, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. “This event is a wonderful example of how our national parks connect us as a nation.”

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