Tree Lighting Ceremony to kick off holiday season at Lander University

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Lander University’s annual Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration is a fun-filled night for the whole family. From roasting marshmallows and riding in a horse-drawn carriage, to taking a photo with Santa and riding a Ferris wheel, the event has quickly grown into one of Lander’s most popular traditions. Photo by Laura Brown.

Story by Eric Lawson

Lander University will usher in the holiday season with its annual Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration on Tuesday, Nov. 19, beginning at 5 p.m. The festivities, which are open to the community, will be held on the front-campus area and Assembly Plaza.

Attendees will be able to enjoy a flurry of activities, including riding in a horse-drawn carriage, roasting marshmallows, competing in an ugly holiday sweater contest, having pictures taken with Santa, decorating ornaments and riding a Ferris wheel.

Scheduled to perform are the Lander Rockettes, the university’s Minorities on the Move Choir, the Baptist Collegiate Ministry Praise Band, and Jacob Mitchell, winner of the 2019 Lander’s Got Talent competition.

The tree will be lit at 7:30 p.m., and the evening will conclude with a concert by the University Singers beginning at 8 p.m. in the Josephine B. Abney Cultural Center Auditorium.

In continuing Lander’s commitment to goodwill, participants are encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy for children ages 4-12. The toys will be delivered to Tommy Claus, led by Tommy Tumblin, a longtime member of the Lander family who works with organizations to prescreen and distribute the toys to Lakelands area children in need during the holiday season. 

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