The cold weather came just in time to enhance the winter spirit at tonight’s Holiday Tree Lighting on Sadler Lawn, said a Programming Council director.The live Christmas tree on the steps of Sadler Hall will be lit tonight by Chancellor Boschini who will ride in on a sleigh with Santa and Mrs. Claus, said Natalie Boone, SGA adviser.
New purple and white suits were made for Santa and Mrs. Claus this year, said Aaron Wolfe, PC director of spirit and traditions.
“We went a little more all out this year,” Wolfe said.
Fake snow and a concert by Tyler Hilton, who played in the television show “One Tree Hill” and played Elvis in the movie “Walk the Line,” were added to this year’s festivities, Wolfe said.
Hilton will perform immediately after the ceremony, which is expected to last an hour, Wolfe said.
This is the first year PC has hosted a concert after the tree lighting, and Wolfe said he hopes it becomes a new tradition.
Hilton was chosen because he is an up-and-coming artist, yet still well-known because of his roles in “One Tree Hill” and “Walk the Line,” said Kristen Chapman, PC director of special events.
“We realized he’d be a good fit for our campus,” Chapman said.
At 3 p.m., PC will decide whether to move the concert indoors due to weather, Boone said. If it is sleeting or raining, Hilton will perform in the Student Center Lounge, she said.
During the ceremony, the gospel choir from O.D. Wyatt High School will perform Christmas carols and the Order of Omega will perform a skit called “The Night Before Finals,” Wolfe said.
At the end of the tree lighting – but before the concert – students will form a line and pass presents collected during the Order of Omega toy drive onto a U-Haul truck that will later deliver the gifts to Tarrant County Child Protective Services, Boone said.
Candles will be passed out to students to be lit while singing Christmas carols, Boone said.
Last year about 400 students attended the tree lighting, but PC has planned for more this year, Wolfe said.
“We’ve ordered 700 candles, which is probably more than we’ll need, but we’ve run out before,” Wolfe said.
PC spent about $8,000 on this event, which is more than last year, but less than the $11,000 they allotted in their budget, Wolfe said.
“We consider this a big event so we spend more money on it,” Wolfe said. “Students look forward to it, so we don’t mind.”
Wolfe also said they were careful in making sure to get the best deals on everything they purchased.