Decorations Taking Over Downtown State College


Photo/Halle Rager

A lit up Christmas tree and a Menorah standing tall in downtown State College, on display for everyone to see.

Halle Rager, Staff Writer

Every year during the holiday season, downtown State College is filled with wreaths and banners and lit up with lights adorning trees and buildings. While the holiday season looked quite different this past year, the decorations downtown stayed the same as always. 

People’s favorite is usually the decorations that come about at Christmas time. The Allen Street Christmas tree and menorah display is a favorite for many Happy Valley residents. Oftentimes, people can be seen taking pictures of and in front of it.

Some residents of State College are not as impressed by the decorations, though. Those who have lived in State College for several years may find it less exciting, while others find it to be a city-wide tradition to look forward to yearly.

When asked what their thoughts were of the decorations downtown during the holiday season Delta freshman Grizz Ross put it rather bluntly. “They are so boring.”

Along with the downtown decorations, First Night is a beloved tradition among many State College residents. 

“I don’t go downtown much. Usually, during Christmas season, they put some lights out and they have the Christmas tree, which I think really lights the place up a bit. When I was little during New Year’s Eve my family and I would walk around and look at sculptures. There was so much joy and warmth. Everything was lit up. Today I feel it changes and they don’t do as much decorations,” State High sophomore Megan Wilson.

Because of the pandemic, First Night was put on pause this year. As Wilson said, the downtown streets are typically filled with ice sculptures and a long ice slide children love to go down. Not to be forgotten from First Night is the food, most notably the iconic kettle corn. To top it off, First Night celebration-goers can enjoy live music performances as they snack and look at sculptures. 

Every part of First Night brings out State College’s holiday spirit, making people even more excited to spend time with friends, families, and of course, presents. This year, as opposed to living out these moments downtown, people were enjoying the memories of them and basking in nostalgia. While things were certainly different this year, that doesn’t mean they were any less special.