PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) -- Another chapter in the Christmas tree controversy at the Rhode Island State House as Gov. Lincoln Chafee hosted a last-minute ceremony Thursday.
The lighting was held at noon in the State House rotunda, and included holiday songs performed by the student orchestra from Cranston's Park View Middle School.
The governor's office sent notice about the ceremony at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, a half-hour before the ceremony was scheduled to begin.
The governor said his office intentionally gave short notice to avert a repeat of last year. That's when demonstrators - outraged at the governor's decision to call the State House tree a "holiday" tree, instead of a "Christmas" tree - interrupted the ceremony by singing their own version of "O Christmas Tree".
Thursday's announcement also came on the same day Chafee was scheduled to appear on Fox News' O'Reilly Factor to answer questions about Rhode Island's tree lighting controversy.
A controversy which re-ignited this week after Chafee's staff sent out a news release Monday, stating the governor would not host a formal tree lighting ceremony this year . That night, the State House tree was quietly lit.
However, the very next day the governor's office sent out another release, stating there had been a miscommunication between staff, that there would be a ceremony and that "the date and time of the event will be announced when the details are finalized."
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