An annual Jefferson City Christmas tradition kicks off tonight – Candlelight tours of the Governor’s Mansion. This event gives Missourians a chance to visit the Mansion and to see the decorations.

“Folks are welcome to come out,” said Governor Jay Nixon’s Deputy Press Secretary Sam Murphey in an interview with the Missourinet. “These events are free and open to the public, so families should come and bring their kids. You have an opportunity to walk through the Mansion to see the historic features throughout this home and to also see the Christmas decorations.”

It all begins with the lighting of the Norway Spruce Christmas tree that was brought to the Governor’s Mansion from Centralia.

“Things are going to kick off at 6 o’clock this Friday and they’ll start with a tree-lighting ceremony here on the grounds of the Mansion,” said Murphey. “The Governor and Mrs. Nixon will welcome folks to the Mansion. There’ll be youth choirs singing. It really will be a special event. The tours then will begin at 6:30 and run until 9 that evening and then on Saturday, December 5th, the tours will be from 2 to 4.”

The weather could be a little cold over the weekend, but that’s no reason to stay away.

“It’s a holiday tradition,” said Murphey. “It’s something worth coming out and enduring a little bit of cold just to be a part of this tradition – this experience here at the Governor’s Mansion.”

The Governor’s Office encourages Saturday’s Mansion visitors and others who are in Jefferson City to attend the Jaycees’ annual Christmas parade, which gets underway at 4:30.

Download/Listen: Steve Walsh report (:60 MP3)