November 21, 2019

Holiday season coming at Purdue Memorial Union

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. —Purdue Memorial Union will be decked out for the holiday season beginning Dec. 2 with the arrival around 12:30 p.m. of a freshly cut 30-foot-tall Christmas tree in the Great Hall, kicking off the Holidays at the Union celebration.

The tree, an approximately 21-year-old blue spruce, was donated by the Berenda family of West Lafayette. It was one of two trees planted on July 4, 1998, for David Berenda’s 50th birthday. The donation was made because the tree had outgrown its original location. The Berendas are lifelong Purdue fans and wanted the tree to be enjoyed by students and the community at the university.

The Great Hall also will feature a 7-foot-tall gingerbread house. Construction on the house began Nov. 18.

The annual lighting of the tree ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. Dec. 3, followed by a performance by the Purdue Acabellas, a student organization. Beth McCuskey, vice provost for student life, will officially light the Christmas tree. There will be cookie decorating in Room 118 afterward.

Holiday performances from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 4-6 will feature local music groups and student performances. During the holiday performances, visitors to the Great Hall will have a chance to guess the number of lights on the tree to win a prize donated by local businesses. The contest will conclude at 2 p.m. Dec. 6.

A new event, World’s Fair, will debut 3-7 p.m. Dec. 4 in the Purdue Memorial Union North Ballroom. The event is presented by the Purdue Student Union Board and the Purdue Global Network Connections. The fair will be an opportunity to experience multiple cultures that are represented at Purdue through food, activities and performances.

Breakfast with Santa will be 8-10:30 a.m. Dec. 7 in the Great Hall, North Ballroom, main lounges and Room 118. A meal of pancakes, chicken sausage links, fruit and juice or milk is $4, with coffee and hot chocolate also available for $1.50, provided by Pappy’s Sweet Shop. Children can visit with Santa, share story time with Mrs. Claus and create holiday crafts for free. Those interesting in visiting Santa should be in line by 10 a.m.

The Christmas tree will be taken down on Dec. 18. The tree will be tested daily for compliance with the Indiana fire code. If it does not meet the requirements, the tree will be removed from the building earlier.

All of the holiday festivities are organized by the Purdue Student Union Board.

Writer: Madison Sanneman,

Media contact: Matthew Oates, Matthew Oates, 765-496-2571,, @mo_oates

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