The evening began with a lively and well received dance number performed by the Fitchburg State University Dance Club. A series of multicultural presentations by students and campus organizations that commemorated the festive and religious significance of the holiday season were given next.
The first presentation was made by student Alicia Cleveland in celebration of Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of light that celebrates the re-dedication of the Temple of Jerusalem in the second century BCE.
Next, Hector Acevevo and Edwin Pacheco Diaz, of the Latin American Students Association, gave a brief introduction to the Three Kings Day holiday. This holiday is in celebration of the day the three kings, or Magi, visited the baby Jesus with presents after following a star in the sky.
Jade St. Cyere and Denard Mondesir, from the Black Student Union, gave a talk about Kwanzaa. They told the audience about this week-long celebration of African American family, community, and culture.
The university’s Christian Fellowship was represented by Peter Lustig, Ashlee Talbot, Kimberly James, Sarah Comeau and Kaitlyn Roemer. They gave a dedication with the Advent wreath, a symbol of the Christian tradition of honoring the weeks prior to the celebration of Christmas.
After the presentations, the moment that everyone was waiting for finally came when University President Robert Antonucci and Student Government Association President Eric Gregoire pushed the shiny silver button that lit up the campus with multitudes of sparkling white lights.
The wet and stormy weather did force the organizers of the evening’s events to relocate the lighting ceremony to the Holmes Dining Commons, but the celebration part gave the entire event a family feeling and inclusiveness that would have been lost had it occurred outdoors.
It was truly a festive and celebratory night that was full of both faith and good holiday cheer. For those who attended the event it was a wonderful evening that charmed, educated and entertained students and guests alike.