President Charles Patterson and Mrs. Colleen Patterson invited the Shippensburg University campus to the annual tree lighting at the Old Main fountain on Thursday evening.
The event began in front of the Martin House, where everyone gathered for a holiday photo with the Patterson family and the SU mascots, Big Red and Shippo the Hippo. After taking multiple pictures and a drone video, attendants made their way down to the fountain.
Surrounding the fountain were refreshments, holiday crafts and a prize wheel where players could win SU merchandise.
Moments before lighting the tree, President Patterson gave a speech about the holiday season.
“This is a great time to come together in fellowship,” Patterson said. “There’s a lot of things going on in the world, but here we are as individuals, as humans embracing one another.”
Once Patterson concluded his speech, everyone counted down from four and the tree was lit. The “tree” is a makeshift tree built directly over the Old Main fountain, which President Patterson is very proud of.
“New York might have the Rockefeller tree, but we have the Christmas Fountain,” Patterson said.
After the tree lighting, Big Red and Shippo the Hippo were available for pictures in front of the Christmas fountain, and attendants continued to indulge in the activities offered around the fountain while listening to holiday music.