Virginia Christmas tree falls victim to Spielberg’s Lincoln

RICHMOND, VA (WTVR) – A Christmas tradition will not happen this year. The state cancelled Virginia’s Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony due to the filming of Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” movie, wrote Director of The Executive Mansion Sarah Scarbrough in a press release.

The State Capitol Tree in Richmond, Virginia. (Office of the Governor / December 3, 2010)

The Virginia State Capitol is one location Spielberg is using for the film.

“We tried every which way to see if we could make it work somehow, but unfortunately, with the schedule and the filming going on through the middle of December, there’s no way that it would mesh with our calender,” Scarbrough told CBS 6’s Sandra Jones.

“Obviously they have taken over Mr. Jefferson’s Capitol the last few weeks,” Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell said when asked about the Christmas tree lighting cancellation.

“I just know that as part of the agreement between the Commonwealth and DreamWorks productions that we had to keep several venues in and around Richmond reserved for them up through, I believe, December 10,” he continued.

Some folks expressed disappointment about the decision.

“I don’t think that they should shortchange the people of Richmond for the movie because i’m sure we’ve already made financial accomodations to bring the movie to Richmond,” said Susan Kipley.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Elizabeth Wright posted on the WTVR CBS 6 Facebook wall. “This is a family tradition for us! Believe it or not some families still have traditions and for my family it’s dinner and the lighting of that tree which we’ve done for many years!”

Others took the news in stride.

“Guess what people,” posted Connie Bernard Gordon. “We will have Christmas this year and 1,000 lit trees all over Richmond. If this is all you have to complain about life is good.”

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