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Students fight rain, continue tree lighting tradition

November 29, 2011 : By Olivia Witherite/Liberty University News Service

Despite looming rain, Liberty University students filled the outdoor area in front of Arthur S. DeMoss Learning Center Monday evening for the second-annual Christmas in Lights celebration, which was capped off by the lighting of a 30-foot tree.

The event was a chance for students to celebrate the Christmas season together before Christmas break begins Dec. 16. Spring Semester 2012 begins Jan. 16.

“I love Christmas in Lights because it’s a celebration of what Christmas is all about, and that’s the birth of Jesus Christ. … We need to be ever reminded of that fact,” sophomore James Black said.

The Liberty Concert Choir, Chamber Singers and University Chorale, along with the Brass Ensemble, led students in carols on the front steps, and those willing to brave the rain stayed to enjoy hot chocolate, candy canes and cookies.

The event was scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., but was pushed up to 5 p.m. due to the chance of inclement weather. About 15 minutes after the beginning of the ceremony, the rain became much steadier.

“I loved standing up there and singing with everybody. … The time change threw a lot of us off, but we adapted,” said Andy Mallory, a junior communications major and member of the Concert Choir.

At 5:18 p.m., a slow clap began, and the tree was lit. A giant cheer arose from the students, and more caroling ensued.

The tree was purchased from Crystal Springs Farm, near the Poconos in Pennsylvania, and will stand in front of DeMoss Hall until Christmas. It will be lit up each night after dark.

Christmas in Lights was sponsored by the Student Activities Office, which is hosting other campus events for the Christmas season, including a Christmas-themed campus artist series on Thursday; a Christmas movie night with Elf and Home Alone on Friday; and Christmas Coffeehouse on Friday, Dec. 9.