Community puzzled by lack of Christmas lights at Columbia College

1 month 1 week 10 hours ago Wednesday, December 12 2018 Dec 12, 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 7:29:00 PM CST December 12, 2018 in News
By: Emma Claybrook, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA - It is lights out on a popular holiday display at Columbia College. The plug has been pulled on the synchronized light show that usually plays at the Kirkman House, complete with Christmas music.

"It’s been something we’ve done for a long time and people come to expect it, said  Sam Fleury, Columbia College director of public relations. "They enjoy checking out the lights because it puts them in the holiday spirit,"

The Holiday Lighting Ceremony has been a tradition on Columbia College's campus since 1995. Students gather to watch more than 4,000 Christmas lights be lit every year. 

The Kirkman House, on the corner of Rogers and Ninth Streets, usually draws students and families to its light show. 

Something went wrong with the system that runs the lights, and the college decided to focus its attention on the quad. 

“It was a great tradition for a long time but we are constantly evolving as an institution and trying to add to our student experience," Fleury said. 

Student Lauren Shaneverger helps put on an event called Christmas in the Commons, where students gather to de-stress before finals and celebrate the holidays. She said she loves spreading Christmas cheer and that she'll miss the Kirkman House display. 

"It was fun and a little bit whimsical when I saw it," she said. "I was like ‘Aw that’s neat. Not most houses do that.'"

Guests could tune their radios to a special station that played songs to go along with the light show. 

"It’s kind of saddening that it’s not there, but at the same time, if you know the circumstances, it’s not really their fault," Shaneverger said. 

The campus starts decorating in late October for the holiday season.

"We took it as an opportunity to also take some other parts of our campus and really take a chance to light those areas up and spread the Christmas spirit,” Fleury said.

He said the new quad area wasn't lit how they wanted it to be, but now a Christmas tree lights the way as students walk from building to building. 

"I would encourage people to come onto campus and check out some of the new traditions," Fleury said. 

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