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Campus Tree Lighting to Celebrate Old, New Christmas Traditions

Quick Facts

 As part of a longtime campus Christmas tradition, Winthrop will host its annual Christmas tree lighting on Dec. 3 at 5:15 p.m.
 After the tree lighting, Rock Hill will host the Lighting of the Village, the opening ceremonies for ChristmasVille, at 6 p.m. on Main Street.

Facilities Management workers decorate the Christmas tree.

ROCK HILL, S.C. - In December, Winthrop will host a tree lighting ceremony to continue the celebration of a longtime campus tradition and kick off a month of holiday activities, including the City of Rock Hill’s ChristmasVille, an annual four-day celebration of the Christmas season.

A long-time tradition, the tree lighting ceremony will mark a merging of the university’s holiday traditions with ChristmasVille, an event that involves many faculty, staff and students.

During the Thursday, Dec. 3, ceremony, members of the Student Alumni Council will flip the switch to light the tree at 5:15 p.m. and provide schedules for ChristmasVille. This year the tree lighting will not be accompanied by the Festival of Carols, discontinued due to its timing during the semester. This change will allow students to become more involved with campus holiday activities – including the annual Kwanzaa Festival, pottery sale and Olde English Madrigal Feaste, among others – as well as ChristmasVille events.

Following Winthrop’s Dec. 3 tree lighting ceremony will be the annual Lighting of the Village on Main Street in Rock Hill at 6 p.m. The village lighting, part of ChristmasVille’s opening ceremonies, will include an exciting performance by the RockHettes, Winthrop’s group of student dancers.

ChristmasVille’s lineup of events will feature additional Winthrop festivities, including the Winthrop University Silent Art Auction Dec. 3-5 in the Gettys Art Center (201 E. Main St.); the 20th Annual Holiday Pottery Sale on Friday, Dec. 4; the Department of Music’s annual Olde English Madrigal Feaste Dec. 4-5; and the Department of Theatre and Dance’s Senior Choreography Showcase Dec. 4-6, among others. Visit ChristmasVille’s events calendar for a full listing of Winthrop activities.

This schedule of shared holiday activities signals the university’s move to link the long-celebrated Christmas tree lighting tradition with the city’s ever-growing ChristmasVille, said President Anthony DiGiorgio.

“The tree lighting ceremony and Rock Hill’s ChristmasVille celebration present Winthrop with an important opportunity to align the university’s rich past with Rock Hill’s bright future,” said DiGiorgio. “This collaboration will provide Winthrop with a wider venue to display the impressive artistic and creative talents of our faculty, staff and students.”

John Rinehart, president of the ChristmasVille Board of Governors, added that he anticipates the increased partnership will prove beneficial to the university and ChristmasVille.

“The ChristmasVille Board of Governors is thankful for Winthrop’s enthusiasm and support, and we look forward to the ways that the continued cooperation between the university and the City of Rock Hill will help ChristmasVille grow over the years.”

More events will be planned for next year’s tree lighting ceremony to celebrate Winthrop’s 125th anniversary.

For more information about this year’s ChristmasVille, visit the Web site online.

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