Madison, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers praised scientists as he lit the state Capitol’s “holiday tree.”
Meanwhile, a high school choir sang Christmas carols.

The Friday ceremony was an odd juxtaposition of the two sides of the state’s debate over the tree’s symbolism.

Former Republican Gov. Scott Walker declared the tree a Christmas tree in 2011 but Evers, a Democrat, started calling it a “holiday tree” this year and sought submissions of science-themed ornaments.

The governor lit the evergreen following a speech in which he called it “a celebration of science.” A choir sang Christmas carols, including “”O Christmas Tree” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.”