Purdue Memorial Union ushers in holiday season

December 2, 2015  


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The holiday season at Purdue University will begin at approximately 12:30 p.m. Monday (Dec. 7) when the 27-foot-tall Christmas tree arrives at the Memorial Union's Great Hall.

The blue spruce tree is a donation from Purdue alumna MaryGayle Hartzell of West Lafayette, Indiana.

One of the biggest indoor Christmas trees in Indiana, it will be watered three times a day. Each time it's watered, it receives about 5 gallons.

The Purdue Student Union Board will decorate the tree on Monday (Dec. 7) evening. Several other student organizations will decorate ornaments that will be placed on the tree. The tree lighting will be at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday (Dec. 8) and will feature Purdue President Mitch Daniels.

The 18th annual Holidays Around the World, arranged by the Student Union Board, will be 4-7 p.m. Wednesday (Dec. 9) in the Union's North Ballroom. Several student organizations will feature performances and displays of their cultures and different holidays. Food items will be available to sample.

"Activities such as the tree and Holidays Around the World are central to the mission of the Union, which is to bring people together in ways that develop community and strengthen understanding of various cultures and traditions," said Angelica McLean, program adviser at the Union. "While the tree represents Christmas, we also represent Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Chinese New Year and many other cultural celebrations through the year in the Holidays Around the World celebration."

Groups scheduled to participate include the Purdue Chinese Students and Scholars Association, Purdue Italian Club, Purdue Arab Society, Purdue Black Cultural Center, Department of German and Russian, Purdue Korean Association, Purdue Indian Undergraduate Welfare Association and Hui Na Opio O Hawaii.

In addition, students and Purdue Dining & Catering on Nov. 30 began building a 12-foot-tall gingerbread house in the Great Hall.

As part of the celebration, local musicians and schools will perform holiday songs in the Great Hall from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday (Dec. 9-10). For a list of performances, visit http://www.union.purdue.edu/studentevents/events/Index.html

A Guess the Lights contest also will take place Dec. 8-20. The top three people who come closest to guessing the correct number of lights on the Christmas tree will receive prizes from local businesses. Guesses can be submitted in the Great Hall. Those who want to submit a guess are asked to complete the form at https://goo.gl/LT9nd4

Breakfast with Santa will feature a free visit with Santa, holiday crafts and live music. The event will be 8-10 a.m. Dec. 12 in the Great Hall. The breakfast, sponsored by Pappy's Sweet Shop, is available for purchase in the South Ballroom. It includes pancakes, two sausage links and juice or milk. Coffee and hot chocolate will be available for purchase. Story time with Mrs. Claus will be at the same time in Room 118.

The tree will be taken down on Dec. 21, so the last day to see it fully decorated is Dec. 20. Jones said the tree will be tested daily for compliance with the Indiana fire code. If it does not meet the requirements, then the tree will be removed from the building. 

Writer: Greg McClure, 765-496-9711, gmcclure@purdue.edu 

Sources: Angelica McLean, program adviser at Purdue Memorial Union, Mclean5@Purdue.edu 

Margie Jones, program manager, Purdue Memorial Union, 765-494-8907, mctucker@purdue.edu 

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