Light Up Downtown: a State College Tradition

State College community members crowding to watch the tree lighting.
State College community members crowding to watch the tree lighting.
Emma Ka

On Thursday, Nov 16, hundreds of people crowded Downtown State College for its annual tree lighting, Light Up Downtown. 

The event stretched across several blocks, and the two main attractions were at MLK Plaza on South Fraser Street and South Allen Street. 

In MLK Plaza, there were stands for hot chocolate and popcorn, and a booth to donate for Toys for Tots, an organization that distributes toys for children whose parents can’t afford Christmas presents. The plaza also had Santa Claus who children could take pictures with. The biggest part of MLK Plaza was the light show that will continue to run everyday throughout 5pm to 10pm through Nov. 16 to Jan. 1, organized by Nittany Entertainment, corresponding with the Christmas tree at the Allen Street Gates. 

South Allen Street featured food stands, live reindeer, artisan vendors, dance performances on stage, and most importantly, the Christmas tree at the Allen Street Gates. The Christmas tree was lit up at 7:30 p.m. 

There were other smaller attractions, including a tree-decorating competition where you could vote out of 10 trees for the “Enchanted Forest” and the winner would receive $1000. There were also trolly rides that drove around downtown and will continue to be available through December 9. 

“Light Up Night” was a very well-received and well-organized event, and it was a fun way for the community to celebrate the upcoming holiday season. 

State High students had a wide range to say about Light Up Downtown.

Sophomore James Sheehan stated, “It was cool. I had a lot of fun, there was a very nice vibe. It was put together well, I feel like everyone kind of came together at the end for the tree lighting thing, it was like a nice little community thing.”

Sophomore Mateo Reyes Porro shared that “It was an exceptional event with lots of festivity in the air, I thought it was a great place for children, and we had a great time.” 

Overall, the State College Tree Lighting was a festive and communal event, and it was enjoyable for people of all ages to welcome and celebrate the holidays to come.

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