It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
The seasonal light display surrounding Mirror Lake was illuminated Thursday night, during the annual “Light Up the Lake” ceremony.
Ohio Staters Inc., a student organization whose mission is to promote university traditions, organized the event, said Brian Kress, a co-chair of the event and a fourth-year in accounting and finance.
This year’s display boasts about 35,000 white lights, which were put up by about 30 members of the organization. last Sunday and Wednesday. Every year, they try to make the display bigger, Kress said.
Even though ‘Light Up the Lake’ has only been done since 2003, it’s quickly becoming one of campus’ favorite traditions, Kress said.
“It becomes anticipated by the campus community,” he said. “It’s becoming more popular.”
The lights will stay up until mid-February because they brighten up a prominent part of campus during the darker months, he said.
The majority of the ceremony takes place in Browning Amphitheatre, but finishes with attendees walking down to the lake, where they light candles and sing “Carmen Ohio.”
The Ohio State Women’s Glee Club, Off the Lake and a brass quartet performed music at the ceremony. Javuane Adams-Gaston, vice president for Student Life, was a speaker. Mark Titus, known for his “Club Trillion” blog, was scheduled to appear at the event, but did not come due to a “stomach bug,” said Lindsay Seitz, a co-chair for the event.
Ohio State Undergraduate Student Government, Black Student Association, Council on Student Affairs and various hall councils helped fund the cost of new lights and sound equipment for the ceremony. Starbucks donated hot chocolate.
University Facilities Operations and Development pay for the cost of the lights to run throughout winter quarter, but were not available for comment on the amount.
According to the event’s Facebook page, more than 1,800 people responded with an RSVP, but there are usually about 500 to 600 attendees, said Seitz, a third-year in human development and family science.
Seitz said she wanted to become involved because it’s a special campus tradition.
“It’s a really neat project that allows students, staff and faculty to come together,” she said.
Kelly Schardt, a third-year in speech and hearing science said she has attended for the last two years.
Schardt is a residence adviser in Baker East, and took her floor to the ceremony.
“I think the whole event is a nice reminder that break is around the corner,” she said. “It’s stressful right now with finals.”
It’s also a good opportunity to see friends at a place everybody loves before leaving for break, she said, adding that her favorite part is singing “Carmen Ohio” with the candles lit.
“There’s a moment that reminds you why you love Ohio State,” she said. “It’s just one of those feel good OSU moments.”