SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Governor's Annual Open House Set for December 6
Thorne Bay Provides Christmas Trees for Governor's House


December 02, 2005

Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski and First Lady Nancy Murkowski welcome the public to the Governor's Annual Christmas Open House at the Governor's Residence, to be held Tuesday, December 6, from 3 to 6 p.m. 

People with special accessibility needs are invited to contact Karen Newton, in advance, at 465-3500, to arrange entry at a special time from 2:30 to 3 p.m.

An annual tradition, the open house has been held every year since 1913, except for two years during World War II. More than 300 guests attended the first open house and more than 3,000 have attended in recent years.

"This is our fourth Christmas season in the Governor's House, and Frank and I look forward to welcoming our Alaska friends and neighbors into our home," said the First Lady.  "This year's beautiful Christmas decorations reflect more of a child's theme, complete with candy canes, gingerbread men and antique carousel horses."



The Governor's House staff is preparing more than 19,000 cookies, 30 pounds of homemade candies, 1,400 cheesecakes and raspberry tartlets, in addition to coconut and pumpkin breads and cranberry scones. Gingerbread houses created by Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School students will be on display in the Governor's House dining room.

Commissioners of state departments will again serve hot apple cider and cookies to guests waiting in line outside the residence. Entertainers from local community and school groups will perform both inside and outside the residence.  Christmas entertainment includes:

  • Alaska Youth Choir, directed by Missouri Smyth
  • Aurora Strings, directed by Xia
  • Glacier Valley Baptist Messengers, directed by Lorraine Marshall
  • Jeff Brown, Commissioner of Mirth
  • Juneau Christian School Carolers, coordinated by Freddy Cummins
  • J-D High Brass Ensemble and J-D High Instrumental Ensemble, directed by Ken Guiher
  • J-D High Choral Ensemble, directed by Richard Moore
  • Victorian Carolers, led by Peter Anderegg

Residents of Thorne Bay, a Prince of Wales Island community some 200 miles south of Juneau, donated an Alaskan Lodge Pole Pine for the Governor's House Christmas tree for the third year. This year they included a second pine as well, as a surprise for Governor Murkowski.   

"Nancy and I are very grateful to the people of Thorne Bay," said the governor. "Their efforts to help make the Governor's House even more beautiful during this wonderful Christmas season are deeply appreciated. It is appropriate that an Alaska Christmas tradition, the Governor's open house, be graced with an Alaskan Christmas tree."

"Participating in this project is a great community experience for us," said Jim McFarland, Thorne Bay Business Association Treasurer.  "We are very excited about the trees we found this year, and are thankful for the opportunity to once again make this donation from Prince of Wales Island."

The Christmas tree project was a joint venture between the Thorne Bay Business Association, City of Thorne Bay and the Thorne Bay District of the U.S. Forest Service.  Business Association members provided transportation for the tree; Russ Statton, the flat bed truck; and Northland Services, the container and transportation to Juneau.

Capital City Republican Women volunteers, together with Ketchikan First City Republican Women volunteers decorated the interior of the Governor's House. State Department of Administration grounds and maintenance crews decorated the exterior. Volunteers assisting during the open house are the Capital City Republican Women, Valley Chapel Elves and Governor's Office staff.   


Source of News:

Office of the Governor


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Ketchikan, Alaska