Every year at Western Oregon University there is an annual holiday tree lighting ceremony. It is a well known tradition that the communities of Monmouth, Independence and Western Oregon University know very well. Students and families alike gather on the street of Monmouth Ave to watch the annual parade that is put together via the Student Activities Board. Then after the parade the children from the elementary schools who entered the essay contest are awarded for their efforts. Closely afterwards the mesmerizing event of the tree lighting commences. It has been said that on clear nights you can see the tip of that lit tree all the way down on 99 as a beacon of the holiday seasons! After the lighting, the masses can enter the Werner University Center and enjoy many different activities such as writing letters to troupes, sitting on Santa’s lap, voting on the best decorated tree, arts and crafts as well as taste testing some holiday treats!
Going through the WUC there seemed to be a large sense of holiday spirit that really flowed from the crowd. Kids were running to go sit in Santa’s lap, adult’s were lining up to taste all of the holiday goodies and people everywhere were enjoying the company of friends and loved ones. Even the next day on Facebook you could see the holiday spirit all around, the pictures from the previous night, the posts about how fun it was and of course the millions of tagged people in status’s saying they were with each other!
During the holiday’s people are expected and happy to be with the one’s they love and so of course people proudly proclaim that no matter where they are. The holiday’s are a celebratory time and the tree lighting ceremony is just one event that has brought people together through the years.
By Amanda Summers