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  • Kaylin Martinko and Macy Neal | Staff Writers

Smells like holiday spirit


Four ways to enjoy the holiday season right here in Milly

1.) Christmas Parade

This year, your holidays will not be lacking in Christmas cheer because the community of Milledgeville and Georgia College is providing several holiday festivities that are sure to make you want to put on a cozy sweater, grab a hot chocolate and turn up the Christmas music.

With the holiday season quickly approaching, GC’s music department offers a festive and free way to get into the holiday spirit: their tenth annual Christmas concert.

This year’s concert will be held on Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m., alongside Downtown Milledgeville’s first Friday of December celebration which includes the annual lighting of the Christmas tree downtown.

The concert will feature performances by all of the music department’s ensemble groups, including the Jazz Band, the Orchestra, the Men’s Quartet and the University Chorus.

Not only will the concert feature beloved, classic jingles like “Jingle Bells” and “Deck the Halls,” but it will also feature some Latin songs and a few Christmas parodies. These will include the Men’s Quartet’s rendition of “The Twelve Days of Christmas (What the Heck was That?),” which they perform every year, and The Max Noah Singers’ version of “Good King Kong Looked Out.”

The concert requires a ticket that can be picked up in Porter 202 but is free.

The music department is, however, accepting $10 donations for scholarships for music students.

“I think this is something people have come to expect since we’ve been doing it for so long,” said Jennifer Flory, professor of music. “It began as a way to raise money for the music students. It’s something that showcases our best but also gives the community a Christmas, or holiday, event to go to.”

2.) Christmas Tree Lighting

For 30 years, a towering metal Christmas tree stood mounted on a Georgia Power building on Highway 441, so large that everyone who drove by could see its lights.

Now, that very same tree has become a part of downtown Milledgeville’s Christmas tradition.

On the first Friday of December every year, Milledgeville’s Pilot Club lights up downtown with a Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

This event has lasted for 30 years and initially began as a service project to the community, involving a partnership with Georgia College and a live cedar tree in front of the old court house.

In 2015, the cedar tree died, and the Pilot Club partnered with Milledgeville Mainstreet to continue bringing Christmas cheer to the community every first Friday of December.

So the tradition continued, but now with a metal tree. The event takes place in front of The Local Yolkal where the tree is anchored and then lit by one of the Pilot Club members. The Pilot Club and Milledgeville Mainstreet provide hot chocolate, cookies and the

opportunity to get pictures with Santa, who is escorted into town on a firetruck. According to Nancy Miller, a member of Milledgeville’s Pilot Club, “This has always been the kickoff to Christmas in downtown Milledgeville.”

3.) The Nutcracker

On Dec. 8th, 9th and 10th, GC’s Community Dance program and the Department of Theatre and Dance are presenting their 21st annual Nutcracker Ballet, directed by Amelia Pelton.

All three shows will be performed the in Russell Auditorium. The first two shows begin at 7 p.m., and the third show begins at 2 p.m. Tickets will start at $11 and can be bought at GCSUtickets.com or at the door an hour prior to the show. The theatre reminds you to get there early because seats will fill up quickly.

When asked about The Nutcracker, Amelia Pelton said, “This is my favorite time of year and directing the Nutcracker is my favorite aspect of my job at GC. Seeing the excitement of the students of all ages as we prepare and their development as dancers gives me huge satisfaction. We now have second-generation dancers taking dance from us, and children of former students are with us.”

Over 200 dancers from ages three and up, including GC’s award winning cheerleaders and two guest artists, will be dancing the night away for this annual holiday spectacular. In addition, this year they will have a 22-foot-long Chinese fabric dragon.

GC’s The Nutcracker Ballet is a beautiful rendition of the classic fairy tale Christmas story to bring students, faculty and locals together to begin celebrating the holidays.

4.) ChrisYuleHanzaKaa

On Nov. 14, GC’s Jewish organization, Hillel, sponsored Interfaith’s free dinner for students and faculty to celebrate different religions and talk about the season’s meanings.

Georgia College’s Interfaith began seven years ago when GC experienced a racist and antisemitism act on campus. Since then, Interfaith has made it their mission to end discrimination on campus.

The dinner was held in the University’s Banquet Room and was led by Dr. Karen Berman. This culturally enriching dinner gathered to spread diversity throughout Georgia College in order to get into the holiday spirit. The night began with a buffet of traditional Jewish food and holiday games, like playing dreidel.

“The Jewish organization on campus Hillel is proud to sponsor the Interfaith Dinner each along with the Inter-Views Alliance and the Interfaith Council and the Cultural Center,” said Dr. Berman. “The free Interfaith dinner that we call ‘ChrisYuleHanzaKaa’ promotes respect for all religions and unity in diversity. We began these dinners some years ago to combat racism and Anti-Semitism that was evident in plastic Easter Eggs placed all over campus by an outside group. Since we began our Interfaith dinners, we have felt a positive change in the campus culture.”

The first speaker, Rabbi Aaron Rubinstein who attends a synagogue in Macon, discussed traditional Hanukkah customs and the Jewish people’s dedication to the temple. He told attendees to think about what their purpose is and what they dedicate themselves to.

The third speaker, Dr. Cynthia Alby, informed attendees of the Unitarian Universalist church in Macon, which is a faith tradition church that includes all religions and welcomes everyone. This style of church is meant for families of split religious beliefs and for people who don’t have one specific religion. Lastly, Dr. Melanie Devore spoke briefly about Christmas and the holiday season.

Interfaith wants students to know that GC is a place where all religious belief systems can be respected, appreciated and incorporated.

#Thingstodo #DowntownMilledgeville #MilledgevilleMainstreet #Christmasparade #ChristmasConcert #ChristmasTreeLighting #Nutcracker #Christmasballet #ChrisYuleHanzaKaa #Christmas #Hannukkah #Kwanzaa #Seasonalcelebrations

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GEORGIA COLLEGE & STATE UNIVERSITY