Every December, the state switches on the 50,000 or so lights on the State Capitol and then has a fireworks show. It's always a busy night, with hundreds of families crowding the lawn of the capitol. This year was a bit different, the emcee of the night was 80s movie star Judge Reinhold. But the kids in the audience seemed to be slightly more excited about seeing the Santa who made a brief appearance on the Capitol steps. Also, a few of the adults around us didn't realize it was Judge Reinhold at first, they said they thought it was just a boring state judge going up to speak and tell corny jokes before the fireworks.
The fireworks are set off directly behind the Capitol, and its a great place to take pictures (you just have to avoid the kids running around who like to bump into your tripod).
I headed back to the Capitol a few weeks later, on a rainy Sunday afternoon. The Capitol was open for people to come inside and see the holiday decorations, which include several large trees and even a place for Santa (who wasn't there, he was probably too worn out after trying to decide which state legislators were going to be on naughty list this year). This large Christmas tree sat in the rotunda, directly beneath the large crystal chandelier under the capitol dome.
The Capitol is now over a century old. Construction on the capitol started in 1899 and was completed in 1915.
The Capitol was actually built on the site of an old penitentiary. It's probably safe to say that the Capitol ended up being a much better use of the land than the jail.