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It's beginning to Look A lot ...

It's easy to know when the holidays are fast approaching on BC's campus. One of the most festive decorations has a permanent home in front of the Boone Tavern Hotel: the giant Christmas tree. Measuring 60 feet tall and 45 feet wide, it is quite an eye-catching sight for community members, students, and tourists alike.

The massive tree, commonly referred to as the "Big Tree" by the facilities management team, is decorated by staff and student employees alike. Adorned with 2,500 white lights, 328 red, green, gold, and silver balls and bells, and a handmade star, the tree is decorated each year just before Thanksgiving. A final 500 yards of royal blue Mira ribbon is added to the Big Tree in the form of hand made bows.

Hope Bullock, a student employee with facilities management, says, "It's a beautiful tree. It's a tradition. It is wonderful to drive through Berea at this time of the year and see all of the wonderful decorations. Seeing all of the beautiful decorations reminds me of home. I think that is what the college is trying to do, make people feel at home."

The star was made by Dodie Karr about 12 years ago when she was working with facilities as a carpenter. A new star was made last year from rod iron, but because the older star was bigger and more noticeable, it was decided to keep tradition going and use Karr's star.

The tradition of decorating the Big Tree began more than twenty years ago with Diane Kirby, director of the facilities management department at the time. Currently, Director Michael Ross is committed to keeping the tradition of decorating the Big Tree alive in addition to decorating more than fifty dwarf crab apple trees that line Chestnut Street and College Square.

Berea College is hosting many celebratory events during the holidays, including:

* 12/1 "Bach, Beatles, Bluegrass, and a Bit of Christmas Too" Convocation - The Nashville Mandolin Ensemble at 8 p.m. in Phelps Stokes Chapel
* 12/4 "A Celebration of Christmas Music" - a concert featuring BC's music department, at 7:30 p.m. at Union Church
* 12/11 Women's Chorus and Recorder Ensemble - performance at 7 p.m. in Gray Auditorium in Presser Hall
* 12/20 "Christmas Music on the Carillon" - Carillonneur John Courter plays at 8 p.m. in the Draper building.
* 12/26/05 - 1/1/06 Christmas Country Dance School

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