Gov. Evers Announces “Celebrating 175 Years of Wisconsinites” Theme for 2023 State Capitol Holiday Tree

Governor invites students, families statewide to help celebrate Wisconsinites and decorate Capitol Tree

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today announced “175 Years of Wisconsinites” as the theme for the 2023 Wisconsin State Capitol Holiday Tree to celebrate the many Wisconsinites who have contributed to making Wisconsin into the state it is today as the state celebrates 175 years of statehood.

In a letter to Wisconsin students, the governor encouraged kids of all ages statewide to find inspiration for their ornaments by reflecting on what Wisconsin means to them and who represents Wisconsin to them. Whether that’s the 12 Native Nations that call the state home, the early miners who burrowed into the hills and earned the state its nickname of the “Badger State,” or iconic figures from Wisconsin history books, such as artist Georgia O’Keefe, William S. Harley, the co-founder of Harley-Davidson, or Vel Phillips, the first Black woman and person elected to statewide office. The governor suggested it could also be an individual who has made a difference in a student’s life or in their community, such as a parent, grandparent, teacher, librarian, coach, or local hero. Whomever it may be, the ornaments that adorn this year’s Capitol holiday tree will serve as a reflection of the diverse communities, visionary leaders, and extraordinary Wisconsinites to whom the state owes so much as Wisconsin celebrates 175 years of statehood and its rich history and traditions.

“For 175 years, Wisconsin—from its Great Lakes coasts to its vast white pine forests and fruitful farmland—has made countless contributions to our country and to the world,” wrote Gov. Evers in a letter sent to students and educators. “But what really makes our state so special is the Wisconsinites who’ve called Wisconsin and these lands home over the last 175 years, and we can’t celebrate Wisconsin’s birthday without celebrating the activists, workers, leaders, trailblazers, innovators, dreamers, and advocates who’ve made us the state we are today.”

The Capitol’s holiday tree—which sits in the rotunda of the Wisconsin State Capitol building to be viewed by Capitol visitors during the holiday season each year—is filled with handmade ornaments from kids, students, and families from every corner of Wisconsin. Every year, the governor sends a letter asking Wisconsin educators, staff, and students and their families to help decorate the tree that is displayed in the Capitol. Today, Gov. Evers and the Evers Administration are once again counting on Wisconsin students’ creativity and imagination to help bring the holiday spirit to life in the Wisconsin State Capitol, inviting students to contribute handmade ornaments to decorate the Capitol holiday tree.

Students are asked to make ornaments from non-breakable material. They must be strong enough to hold up during shipping and to be handled while the tree is being decorated. It is recommended students do not use fragile items or paper cutouts that may tear easily and that ornaments are 4-6 inches in size and are made from a color that contrasts with the color of the tree so they can easily be seen and enjoyed by all visitors. Please attach a ten-inch loop of ribbon or string from which each ornament will hang.

All students and families are welcome to submit ornaments celebrating “175 Years of Wisconsinites” and should mail ornaments by Wed., Nov. 22, 2023, to:

Emily Gorman
Wisconsin Department of Administration
Division of Facilities and Transportation Services
17 West Main Street, Suite 119
Madison, WI 53703

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