Festival of Lights 2018

Gardner-Webb Welcomes Community to Beloved Christmas Tradition

Festival of Lights 2018

Gardner-Webb University’s Festival of Lights, a beloved Christmas tradition for more than three decades, will be returning to campus on Thursday, Nov. 29, at 7 p.m. Activities begin in Dover Theatre, located next to the Lutz-Yelton Convocation Center. The holiday celebration is free and open to the public.

“This concert is our most well-attended by the community,” shared Dr. Paul Etter, chair of the Music Department and professor of music in the School of Performing and Visual Arts. “For many in the community, this event is the start of their holiday season.”

Several groups will perform, including the Concert Choir, directed by Etter, the Chorale, directed by Dr. Morgan Soja, the Old Time Ensemble, directed by Dr. Bruce Moser, a ladies ensemble and a brass group.

A favorite time during the program is when the audience is invited to sing a medley of Christmas carols. These performances will be interspersed with scripture readings by Dr. Tracy Jessup, vice president for Christian Life and Service and senior minister to the University, and the reading of the Christmas story in Luke 2 by GWU President Dr. Frank Bonner.

After the musical program, attendees walk through luminary-lighted paths to the quad where Bonner will light the campus Christmas tree. After the tree lighting, the group will walk to the front of Noel Hall for the lighting of the campus nativity scene.

Then, everyone is invited to Tucker Student Center for hot apple cider and cookies. Many families also like to take their picture in front of the beautifully decorated Christmas tree in the Student Center, Etter said. “Families come year after year, and it’s nice to be a part of their tradition,” he added. “The students love doing the Christmas music.”