Steve Sullivan, News Service, (515) 294-3720


AMES, Iowa -- An opera performance, live reindeer and thousands of outdoor lights — electric and otherwise — highlight Iowa State University’s annual Festival of Lights to kick off the winter season.

Additional activities for children connect the festival to the year-long celebration, "Strengthening families to become the best." Festival of Lights will be held Wednesday evening, Nov. 29, on central campus.

The festivities begin at 5 p.m., when Iowa State carillonneur Tin-shi Tam begins a pre-lighting concert. Tam also will play after the program and the campanile will be open for tours.

Cookies and hot chocolate will be served as people arrive in front of Beardshear Hall for the 5:15 p.m. lighting ceremony. The ceremony will include music by the ISU Oratorio Chorus, brief remarks by interim President Richard Seagrave and lighting of thousands of decorative lights. The winter lights at Reiman Gardens that day will be lit to coincide with the central campus lighting.

Following the program, there will be open houses at the campanile, Farm House Museum, Child Development Lab School in the Palmer Building and University Book Store. Luminaries will line central campus sidewalks and several student vocal groups will be out strolling and entertaining. Clowns from KangaKids will share balloon sculptures in holiday shapes at the lab school's open house. A horse-drawn wagon will circle central campus and live reindeer will be snacking outside the Palmer Building. The bookstore will host a story time for children.

At 6:30 p.m. in the Tye Recital Hall, the ISU Opera Studio, coached by artist-in-residence Simon Estes, and the ISU Symphony will present "Amahl and the Night Visitors," Gian Carlo Menotti's opera about a disabled boy and his mother who meet the three kings during their search for the Christ child. Tickets are $4 and available at the music department office or by calling (515) 294-3831. The performance will be repeated at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30.

Horticulture club members will sell poinsettias outside the bookstore Wednesday from 10 a.m. through the open house. On Thursday and Friday, Nov. 30-Dec. 1 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.), the sale will move to the west end of the Memorial Union ground floor, near the curved staircase. Club members also will sell plants from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 29-Dec. 1 on the ground floor of Curtiss Hall. About 1,200 plants, in 5-, 6- and 8-inch pots, will be sold. Prices are $5, $8 and $14.

Iowa State University
Festival of Lights
Wednesday, Nov. 29

  • 10 a.m., Poinsettias sale, $5-$14, outside University Book Store, through the open house; and 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Curtiss ground floor.
  • 5 p.m., Concert, Tin-shi Tam, carrillonneur, carillon
  • 5:15 p.m., Festival of Lights, Beardshear front steps (open houses follow: campanile, Farm House Museum, Child Development Lab in the Palmer Building and University Book Store)
  • 6:30 p.m., Performance, Student Ensemble Series, Amahl and the Night Visitors, ISU Opera Studio and ISU Symphony Orchestra, $4, Tye Hall, Music Building

Holiday sales

Forestry Club

3-7 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays
Nov. 25, Dec. 1-3

  • Precut trees, white and Scotch pine, Balsam and Frasier fir, $20-$45, Reiman Gardens.
  • Wreaths, $15-$25, Reiman Gardens.
    December 1-3
  • Cut your own tree, white and Scotch pines, Forestry Club Plantation, east off Scholl Road, $20-$25, near ISU Applied Science Center.

Horticulture Club

Poinsettias, 5-, 6- and 8-inch pots, $5-$14
Nov. 30-Dec. 1

  • 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Memorial Union ground floor, west end; and Curtiss Hall, ground floor


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