Celebrating the Season

Two tree lightings help to brighten the holidays

OWU’s third annual lighting of the Ron Hudler Memorial Christmas Tree is set for 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 5. (Photo by Jeff Bates)

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree!
Thou tree most fair and lovely!
The sight of thee at Christmastide
Spreads hope and gladness far and wide

It’ll be twice as nice in Delaware this weekend, with lighting ceremonies for both the downtown and Ohio Wesleyan University Christmas trees.

The downtown tree will be illuminated first during a community celebration at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the corner of William and Sandusky streets. Prior to the lighting, parishioners from local churches will walk to the tree by candlelight.

“The candlelight walk is a beautiful addition to the downtown Christmas tradition,” says Frances Jo Hamilton, executive director of Main Street Delaware, which coordinates obtaining and decorating each year’s tree. “The whole evening is a wonderful family event.”

The city tree lighting is part of Main Street Delaware’s First Friday event, which will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event also features free horse-and-wagon rides, Santa’s House at 57 N. Sandusky St., and music from the Delaware Hayes Jazz Band and Delaware Community Chorus Carolers. The evening is sponsored by Hiram Masonic Lodge No. 18.

For families not able to attend First Friday, Santa also will be in his house Fridays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. through December 18.

And for even more holiday cheer—as well as plenty of cocoa, cookies, and caroling—the community is invited to visit Ohio Wesleyan on Sunday for the third annual lighting of OWU’s Ron Hudler Memorial Christmas Tree. The event will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the tree, located north of Edwards Gymnasium and west of Sturges Hall. OWU’s female a cappella group, Pitch Black, will lead the singing.

Hudler, a 1956 Ohio Wesleyan graduate, and his three sons operated Hudler Carolina Tree Farms, one of the nation’s largest Christmas tree farms, prior to his death in 2008. To honor Hudler’s memory, his family donated a 14-foot spruce tree from to the campus that same year. Hudler’s twin brother, Don, also was a member of OWU’s Class of 1956. The tree farm previously has provided the White House Christmas tree.

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree!
How laden are your branches
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree!
Your presence here enhances

See you at the trees!

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