COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Statehouse kicks off its calendar of holiday activities Thursday with a festival and the lighting of its historically decorated tree.

A short indoor ceremony welcoming Santa and Mrs. Claus will precede the tree lighting. Families also can have their pictures taken with the guests of honor at a free photo station.

Refreshments, arts and crafts, games and dance and choir performances are also planned.

All events are free and open to the public. Paid parking is available at the Statehouse garage.

Additional holiday activities planned during the month are detailed at the Statehouse website .

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