November 24, 2020

Purdue Christmas celebration goes on, mostly virtual

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Purdue Student Union Board and Purdue Memorial Union have planned events to make Purdue’s holiday celebrations available to Boilermakers all over the world. Featuring a lineup of virtual events and a light installation, this year’s holiday festivities may look a bit different, but they allow everyone in the Purdue community, near or far, to join together in celebration.

A winter light display is the centerpiece of this year’s holiday celebration. Located in Academy Park, the lights are on daily from 4 p.m. to 7 a.m. through the morning of Dec. 5. The display was designed and staged by Jim Heath, Purdue alumnus and owner of local business Window Genie of Lafayette.

When Heath heard that campus construction and guidelines protecting indoor spaces would prevent PMU from hosting its traditional Christmas tree, he was excited to create a space for people to visit, spend time and enjoy the season.

The PMU Christmas tree, regarded annually as one of the largest indoor trees in the state, is a tradition dating to the 1930s. Chelsea Harris, assistant director of programs for PMU, said that all potential donors of this year’s tree have agreed to wait for next year. For now, attention has been given to creating events that are free and accessible online.

* Virtual visits with Santa will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Dec. 12 and 19. Visits will be five minutes per family and will include a personal photo from the North Pole. A registration link will become available on PSUB Facebook page and website at noon on Nov. 30. Spaces are limited.

* Live readings of holiday stories will be aired at 7 p.m. Dec. 7-11 and Dec 14-18. Join special guests, including Mrs. Claus, as they read their favorite holiday stories on the PSUB Facebook page each night.

* Activity sheets will be available for download throughout the month on PSUB Facebook page and website. Including coloring pages, puzzle pages and stories about PMU pink mitten and Christmas tree, the collection will be fun for all ages. The Purdue community is encouraged to keep traditions alive by downloading, completing and sharing their creations.

All of these holiday events are organized by PSUB.

About Purdue University

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Writer: Christy McCarter

Media contact: Amy Patterson Neubert,

Source: Chelsea Harris,

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