CHARLESTON – Gov. Jim Justice and First Lady Cathy Justice are encouraging all West Virginians to watch the annual Joyful Night celebration on Thursday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. The festive evening will feature many beloved holiday traditions and several captivating performances by West Virginians from near and far to ring in the holiday season.
This year’s program will again be virtual. The celebration will be broadcast statewide on the West Virginia Channel. Find your station at https://tv.wvpublic.org/wvchannel/#page=schedule&day=20211202&provider=Broadcast.
A live-stream of the program will also be available online on the governor’s and first lady’s social media platforms on YouTube, the governor’s and the first lady’s Facebook pages and Twitter accounts.
After the Joyful Night celebration concludes, the full video of the event will be available on-demand on the social media platforms listed above.
The program will include special holiday messages from Gov. Justice, First Lady Justice, and West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History Curator Randall Reid-Smith, who will serve as the event emcee.
The event will feature the annual lighting of the state Christmas tree by Governor and First Lady Justice. This year’s tree, displayed on the Kanawha Boulevard side of the State Capitol, was furnished by the Buchanan family from Hansford. It was donated in honor of their late daughter, Andrea, who passed away in 2009 at 17 years of age. It is a blue spruce that stands at 40-feet tall.
The tree displayed on the north side of the State Capitol was donated by Helen Herring from Elkview. This is the second tree that the Herrings have donated. It is an 18-year-old Frasier fir that stands approximately 20-feet tall.
The governor and first lady will perform the traditional reading of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” and spotlight several additional trees that will stand inside the State Capitol Building in honor of West Virginia’s first responders, military members, and Gold Star families.
The first lady will also announce the Student Ornament Contest winners, present this year’s Artistree, and unveil additional trees decorated with ornaments made by students, including an 18-foot tall Communities In Schools tree that stands in the lower rotunda of the Capitol.
Additionally, the program will feature musical performances by the Baileysville K8 School and the Cabell Midland High School Marching Knights. The National Anthem will be performed by the Parkersburg South High School Chamber Ensemble, the Pledge of Allegiance will be performed by the Mountaineer Challenge Academy, and the event prayer will be led by Josh Perry, senior pastor of Redemption Church in Huntington.