December 2, 2003
Annual raising of Purdue Christmas tree set for Dec. 8
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. 'Tis the season for the annual Holidays at the Union, which begins on Monday (12/8) with the raising of Purdue University's Christmas tree, one of the largest indoor Christmas trees in the state.
Tim and Renée Mundell, 3124 Sullivan St., West Lafayette, are donating this year's tree, a 27-foot-tall blue spruce growing in their yard. Purdue Physical Facilities staff will cut the tree at 7:30-8:30 a.m. on Monday. They will then place the tree on a trailer and haul it to the Purdue Memorial Union where it will be erected in the Great Hall. The tree will be decorated and displayed from Dec. 9-22.
"In my opinion, it's going to be one of the prettiest trees we've had in the union in the 24 years that I've been here," said Bret Turner, crew chief in charge of grounds. "The branches are tiny compared with trees we've had in the past, so it's going to be fuller. If we don't have trouble getting it through the door, we shouldn't have any bad spots. I think people are going to be very happy with it."
A community member has donated the tree for the Great Hall every year since 1975. The Mundells' tree was selected from a group of more than 15 trees. Tim Mundell graduated from Purdue with a degree in electrical engineering technology. He remembers coming to the union to see the Christmas tree when he was young and said he is excited that his children will now be able to experience their own tree on display.
As in previous years, visitors can try their luck guessing the number of lights on the tree. The winner will be announced after Christmas break and prizes will be awarded.
A life-size gingerbread house will be on display in the Great Hall, offering children the opportunity to enter the whimsical structure. Purdue Memorial Union dining services staff is sponsoring the gingerbread house and is preparing the gingerbread and candy to cover it under the direction of chef Bruce Haumesser.
Musical performances will add to the festive atmosphere in the Great Hall. Local groups will perform near the tree on Tuesday (12/9) from 11 a.m. to noon, on Wednesday (12/10) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Thursday (12/11) and Friday (12/12) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Holidays Around the World, international holiday entertainment, will be provided at 3-6 p.m. on Wednesday (12/10) in the union main lounges.
Families can enjoy breakfast with Santa from 8-10 a.m. on Saturday (12/13) in La Posada on the ground floor of the union. For $1.99, children will get breakfast, a visit with Santa Claus and a small gift.
Holidays at the Union, sponsored by the Purdue Student Union Board, is the focal point of holiday displays at Purdue. All events are open to the public.
Writer: Reni Winter, (765) 496-3133, email@example.com
Sources: Emily Hollmaier, 494-8976, firstname.lastname@example.org
Brett Turner, (765) 494-5077, email@example.com
Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; firstname.lastname@example.org
Note to Journalists: For questions regarding the tree, contact Brett Turner, grounds crew chief, (765) 494-5077. For all other questions, contact Emily Hollmaier, (765) 494-8976, email@example.com.