Annual campus tree lighting to take on new look Tuesday


The annual tree lighting ceremony has been an FHSU tradition for years. In the past, the tree lighting ceremony consisted of hot chocolate, cookies, games, sleigh rides, and a visit from Santa as students and community members gathered around the trees in front of Beach-Schmidt to see them light up and celebrate the holiday season together.

This year it’s going to look a little different. Taking place Tuesday from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., the annual tree lighting ceremony will be a drive-thru style event starting at the Robbins Center and taking visitors through campus and past the Quad to see it lit up with Christmas lights and holiday decorations.

Student Affairs VP Dr. Joey Linn and SGA President Haley Reiter will be leading the way starting at the U.S 183 Bypass and cruising down to the Quad filled with lights and luminaries, rather than just the two trees in front of Beach-Schmidt.

“What we are doing is we are actually decorating a lot more around the Quad. So you’re going to see more of the trees lit up and a lot more decorations out and about throughout the campus as you drive through“ Student Engagement Assistant Director Diego Esparza said. 

The event is providing free Christmas music through 94.3 FM and 1500 AM radio stations and placing stops throughout the drive where participants can drop of letters to Santa. Also, according to TigerLink, the first 125 participants will be gifted with a free FHSU holiday sweater, a holiday craft, cookies, and a hot chocolate.

In order to keep people engaged, they are also hosting a car decorating contest for the drive and a coloring page contest for kids. Student engagement is anticipating a large line, so visitors should plan on getting a spot in the line early on.

In addition to keeping people socially distanced by keeping them in their cars, student engagement is taking a few extra precautions to keep students and community members safe during the event.

“Everyone that will be handing things out will be wearing gloves and masks, and we will have hand sanitizer on hand as needed. We are trying to make it as safe as possible but still have some fun while we’re at it“ Esparza said.

Student engagement is also hosting its last few events of the semester, Winter Crafts & Hot Chocolate, on Wednesday & Thursday in the Cody Commons.

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