Sewanee begins holiday season with annual Christmas tree lighting

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Photo by Lucy Wimmer (C’20)

By Julianna Morgan

Staff Writer

Sewanee’s annual Christmas tree lighting was an occasion filled with joy. The event brought everyone in the Sewanee community together, featuring entertainment from one of Sewanee’s a cappella groups Cambiata, holiday treats, and an iceless skating rink.


Cambiata sang different Christmas songs before the tree was officially lit. Their songs included “White Winter Hymnal,” “Seven Bridges,” “Last Christmas,” and “Silent Night.” Charlotte Moffett (C’21) commented, “My favorite part about the lighting was the a cappella group singing Christmas carols.”


University choirmaster Geoffrey Ward introduced the speakers and led the countdown for the actual lighting. When asked how he would describe the event, Ward said, “It is an opportunity for everyone in the Sewanee community to get involved.” He also said his favorite thing about the event was “when the tree gets lit, it is very dramatic.” The Vice-Chancellor gave a final commentary about the holiday season, and then it was time to light the tree.


Once the tree was lit, everyone cheered and took in the special moment. Margaret Deane (C’21) said her favorite part of the ceremony was “being able to see a lot of my friends come together.”


After the lighting, iceless ice skating was set up. This activity included synthetic ice that was set up on University Avenue. Those who wished to participate could use the provided ice skates and take turns around the rink. Others who were not ice skating continued to socialize and take pictures with their family and friends.


The tree continues to shine brightly on the Quad, showing that the end of the semester and the holidays are right around the corner. Deane commented, “Being able to see the tree all the time makes me look forward to Christmas.”


This event paired well with Sewanee’s Lessons and Carols ceremony, which took place the same weekend. It was an opportunity for those in the Sewanee community to enjoy a Christmas service at All Saints’ Chapel. The weekend of these two events was a perfect way to commemorate the beginning of the holidays on the Mountain.