Ringing in the season with ‘Hurst for the Holidays’ celebrations

Rebecca Dunphy, News editor

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, with the bells jingle belling and Luke the Laker telling you “be of good cheer.” It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Christmas came a bit early for Lakers this year in anticipation of their early departure for the end-of-semester break beginning Nov. 25.

While traditionally Mercyhurst kicks off the festivities with a Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the end of November, this holiday season began with the Light Up Mercyhurst event on Nov. 5. Christmas carols could be heard throughout the day in anticipation of the kick-off.

Then at 4:30 p.m., members of the Mercyhurst community watched the lights decorating Old Main shine for the first time this season. The event was led by President Michael T. Victor and MSG president, Lucy Belleau. Instead of having students watch in person, the event was live-streamed for all.

“Although it was not the typical experience, I am still so thankful to have been able to participate in our makeshift tree lighting. It may have been a little early, and a little warm, but we were able to uphold the spirit of the tradition and welcome the holiday season,” Belleau said.

The fun certainly did not end there. One of the most notable additions to this year’s holiday lineup is the pop-up gingerbread house shed located at the center of Trinity Green.

To maintain social distance while still celebrating the holidays, Parkhurst is hosting a number of pop-up events throughout the rest of the month. The first of these was held on Nov. 10 and featured s’mores passed out by Parkhurst staff and MAC/SAC programmers Joey Franz and Eric Olsen. Christmas music was playing and inflatable snowmen ensured that everybody was in the holiday spirit.

“I think that this was just a fun, simple, easy event to get students in the holiday spirit before they go home for the semester,” Franz said.

In addition to the sweet treat, participants received a pin featuring Luke the Laker at the center of a snow globe.

The next of these events will be a hot cocoa pop-up on Nov. 12 and the final pop-up treat, Thanksgiving cookies, will be handed out in the same location on Nov. 16 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. On Nov. 12 Santa Luke will be making an appearance at the gingerbread shed for pictures and free candy canes, from 10:30 to 11 a.m.

For those who are unable to make the event, a second opportunity is available to take a picture with Luke on Nov. 18 from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. The Roost is also getting into the spirit by hosting the Hurst for the Holidays Freeform Holiday Movie Series.

Due to the new restrictions, students are encouraged to order take out from the Roost and then check out the classic Christmas movies being shown on the Freeform channel. Students may even want to set up their own Zoom watch parties with friends to continue to spread holiday cheer from a distance.

The first film in the series was “Prancer Returns,” screened on Nov. 7. The next event will be a double feature of “Home Alone” and “Home Alone II” on Nov. 14 at 6:45 p.m. On Nov. 21 at 8:45 p.m., the final film, “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” will be shown. It might even make viewers hearts grow three sizes.

Lakers should be on the lookout for more holiday events in the coming weeks including dining hall and retail specials, giveaways and more. 2020 has been a whirlwind of a year, so let’s all mask up and be merry.

Contributed photo