A South Dakota holiday tradition for the past 40 years has made the shortlist as one of the top Christmas light displays in America.

The annual Christmas at the Capital event in Pierre is number-eight on a new list of Esquire Magazine's top displays in the country.

This year's theme is 'Winter Wishes'.

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The event, which began in 1981, has grown from a dozen trees on display inside the State Capital to nearly 100 trees for the 40th-anniversary celebration.

Each year, decorated evergreen trees fill the rotunda and three floors of hallways in the capital.

Also on display is a wooden nativity on the second floor, that is believed to be well over 100 years old.

The 2021 Christmas at the Capital starts with the Grand Lighting Ceremony, Tuesday, November 23 at 7:30 PM.

The event runs from November 24 to December 26 and is open every day (including Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas) from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM.


  1. Branson, Missouri - Old Time Christmas Festival
  2. Natchitoches, Louisiana - Christmas Festival of Lights
  3. Denver, Colorado - Blossoms of Light at the York Street/Trail of Lights at Chatfield Farms
  4. Albuquerque, New Mexico - River of Lights
  5. Daytona Beach, Florida - Daytona International Speedway's Magic of Lights
  6. Richmond, Virginia - Tacky Christmas Lights
  7. Baltimore, Maryland - Miracle on 34th Street
  8. Pierre, South Dakota - Christmas at the Capitol
  9. Helen, Georgia - Bavarian Christmas
  10. Rochester, Michigan - The Big Bright Light Show

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