Visitors to the lighting of the National Christmas Tree in front of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 9 will admire not only the centerpiece tree, a 30-foot Colorado blue spruce from Palmyra, Pennsylvania, but also 56 smaller trees, each representing a state or territory of the United States.
One tree will catch the eye of spectators with ornaments of pelicans, crawfish and Mardi Gras masks. These ornaments were crafted by art students at Dutchtown High School in Ascension Parish.
Through a partnership with the National Park Service, the U.S. Department of Education worked with state art and education agencies to identify elementary, middle and high schools whose students would create the ornaments for the America Celebrates display. More than 1,500 students are participating in this year’s project, which is funded by the National Park Foundation.
Ornaments submitted by Dutchtown High School in Ascension Parish are works of art by students in Anthony Bacala's Art II classes, according to a news release. Students designed and painted their ornaments with both Louisiana's rich culture and Christmas in mind, featuring motifs such as crawfish, Mardi Gras masks and pelicans.