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This item originally appeared in the December 9, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.

By CANDACE MIERS

Staff Writer

Christmas came early this year to Tech and the community of Ruston, compliments of the Union Board.

The eighth annual Christmas in the Plaza, held from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday in the Centennial Plaza on campus, was hosted by Tech's Union Board to provide community service for the Ruston-area children as well as to entertain Tech students.

"I'm glad a lot of kids showed up, they bring out the spirit of Christmas," J.P Cheramie, a graduate student of industrial and organizational psychology, said.

Not only did parents and their offspring show up to Christmas in the Plaza, but Santa Claus did as well.

Santa mingled with students but did not forget to stop for the occasional photo opportunity.

Pictures with Santa Claus were not the only activity in the Plaza.

Other activities included making s'mores, creating wax hands, jumping on one of two space walks, buying T-shirts, taking sticker pictures and wacky three-dimensional pictures.

"This event took so much preparation," Nancy Hedgemon, a member of Union Board and a junior kinesiology and health promotions major, said.

Christy South, a Union Board member and an elementary education major, who worked with Hedgemon preparing for the Christmas in the Plaza, said the three months of planning was worth the outcome.

"I am so happy [Christmas in Plaza] is a success," South said. "It has been a very stressful few months, but seeing the children out with their parents, enjoying themselves makes the stress worth it."

The crooked Christmas tree in the middle of the Plaza reflected the stress of the Union Board members but no one seemed to notice the leaning, only the twinkling white lights.

The shrieks of excited children could be heard over Bing Crosby, who seemed to soothe the crowd of people waiting in different activity lines.

And this year there were more lines than ever, South said.

Jenny Quinnelly, a Union Board member and a speech communication major, said there are a lot of new activities this year for every one to enjoy.

"[The Union Board] does this not only for the kids, although they are the main purpose, but for the whole community as well," Quinnelly said.

Frosty the Snowman was part of the community crowd. Complete with a movable head, he watched the Christmas crowd, who were standing near huge wrapped presents that helped decorate the Plaza.

South said Christmas in the Plaza is not about presents or planning, it is about bringing people together for the holiday season.

South said, "Christmas is the season to be with family. That's what we are trying to do here, bring family together to just enjoy."


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