The event is set to start with the Overstreet Lighting Ceremony at 6 p.m. on Thursday, December 5, 2013. In the case of inclement weather, the lights will be turned on at 5 p.m. and all outdoor activities will be cancelled. All activities scheduled for the Reynolds Center will continue rain or shine.
“The Celebration of Lights is an outstanding Magnolia and University tradition to begin the Christmas and holiday season,” said SAU President Dr. David Rankin. “The tremendous light display on campus has become a hallmark of the season and the lighting of the bell tower a much anticipated event.”
At SAU, the community is welcome to watch a family Christmas movie to be shown three times – at 3, 5 and 7 p.m. – in the Reynolds Center Foundation Hall. The ice skating rink is also returning this year, and will be set up for children 12 and under in the Reynolds Center Plaza from 5-9 p.m.
The RHA Overstreet Lighting Ceremony starts at the conclusion of the parade at around 6-6:15 p.m. It will include refreshments, greetings, caroling and the lighting of the Christmas tree and Centennial tree.
Visitors will then follow the SAU choral ensemble on the luminary-lit sidewalks to the mall area for a brief program, refreshments, announcement of the parade winners. The landmark bell tower will then be illuminated asit makes its annual transformation into a 187-foot holiday candle.
Santa will once again be located in the Reynolds Center foyer in front of a large Christmas tree for free photos with children. Photographs are printed in a commemorative card for parents to take home from the event as a token of SAU’s appreciation to the community.
Before going home, however, families will not want to miss out on the holiday buffet dinner from 6:30-8 p.m. in the Reynolds Center Grand Hall. The menu includes carved ham and turkey served with honey mustard sauce and giblet gravy, homemade cornbread dressing and cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy, whole kernel corn and green bean casserole. There is also a tossed garden salad and fresh dinner rolls. For desert, there will be pumpkin pie, pecan pie and chocolate cream pie.
Dinner adult tickets are $8, and child tickets are $4 for ages five through 12. Children under five eat free. Tickets can be purchased at the door, or before the event at the SAU Communications Center at 115 Nelson Hall.
The event also offers an opportunity to give back to the community in the spirit of the season as the Angel Tree will be located in the Reynolds Center Community Services Room 102. Feel free to stop in to be an angel for area children who may go without this season.
For more information on the SAU Celebration of Lights, call (870) 235-4028.