ISU Tree Lighting Festival is a great holiday event

Idaho State University news release

POCATELLO—The fifth annual Idaho State University Tree Lighting Festival, presented by the Union Program Council, will be held 7-9 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Pond Student Union.

Festivities include horse-drawn carriage rides, hot chocolate, arts and crafts, an interactive ice sculpture and special guest Santa Claus. ISU choral singers will also be performing for the event. The first 200 guests will receive a lighted, silver-colored ISU ornament.

In general it should be a light-hearted, fun way to kick off the holiday season,” said Heidi Oliver, program coordinator for ISU scheduling and events. “We encourage everyone to come out.”

The idea of the Tree Lighting Festival started a few years ago when a group of students wanted to start decorating campus for the holidays. The Union Program Council has been putting on the event for the past five years.

We wanted to give ISU a home feel especially for those students who weren’t going home for the holiday,” Oliver said. “We thought we would bring the living room onto the campus.”

This year there will be a 25-foot Noble fir tree decorated in orange and black.

Professional ice sculptor Danny Spangler will carve an ice throne for guests to play on and interact with. Some of the crafts planned are letters to Santa and cookie decorating. Treats and hot chocolate will be provided as refreshments.

We find just as many college students participate in our craft making and our letter writing to Santa as do young children,” Oliver said. “We’ve had a lot of students tell us that they’ve marked their college career with the ornaments.”

Horse-drawn carriages, pulled by Clydesdale horses, will take guests around the area to look at holiday lights. Groups on the carriages are encouraged to sing carols to make the ride more fun.

The event is free to everyone.