Community Invited to Star Trees Lighting

Star Trees LightingThe Salem community is invited to the tenth annual Star Trees Lighting Saturday, Dec. 2, at Willamette University. The free program begins at 6:30 p.m., in front of Waller Hall on 900 State Street, across from the State Capitol Building. A family holiday concert will follow at 7 p.m. at Smith Auditorium on the Willamette campus.

Prior to the event, Bon Appetit will provide an all-you-can-eat holiday dinner from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at Goudy Commons on the Willamette campus. The cost is $7.50 for adults and $4 for children six years of age and younger.

The tree lighting event will include music, a welcome from University President Lee Pelton and former Salem First Citizen George Puentes, and hot chocolate and cookies, provided by the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. A drawing will be held for a boy and girl to flip the switch that lights the trees. They will also receive $100 savings bonds from MaPS Credit Union and $50 gift certificates from the Willamette Store on campus. Beta Theta Pi advises attendees to dress warm, and invites community members to bring coats or contributions for their annual Penny Coat Drive.

Planted in 1942, the five giant Sequoias at Willamette are the tallest trees on any U.S. campus. They are referred to as "Star Trees" because the view from the center looking upward creates a beautiful star-shaped view of the sky. Campus lore says that if two people kiss under the Star Trees they are destined for true love. (Numerous couples have tested this premise, but no statistical follow-up survey has been conducted.)

Sponsors include Willamette University, Dick and Linda Carney (CFP Inc.), Elwood's Tree Service, MaPS Credit Union and Bon Appetit. For more information call 503-375-5304.