Outgoing Gov. Beverly Perdue presided one last time over North Carolina's official Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

Perdue and husband Bob Eaves were front and center Thursday evening, first by hanging wreaths on the doors of the old Capitol building in Raleigh. The governor also helped read to children after the tree on the south side of Capitol Square was lit.

The ceremony is part of a free holiday festival that included music, children's activities and food. The old Capitol was also open Thursday evening for tours.

Perdue's four-year term as governor ends in early January.