On the First Night of December LSUA Gave to Me

Business student, Buck Duncan, waits in the Quad for the annual tree and water tower lighting ceremony at Louisiana State University of Alexandria at the brink of dusk on Dec. 1, 2016. Chilly temperatures found few gathered any earlier than the set 5:30 p. m. start time.
After an introduction by interim Chancellor, Dr. Haywood Joiner, the tree, water tower, and Quad are lit with electricity and handheld sparklers. Suddenly, a dark, cold night is transformed into light sprouting from every direction.
Eamon Halpin, Director of Advising, pours himself a warm cup of hot cocoa before leading the crowd in some Christmas carols. Although the sprinkle-covered sugar cookies did not last long, the hot chocolate was a clear favorite as not too many hands were seen without some.
Smiles all around as Snapchat stories were seen being constantly updated with sparklers, group photos, and a bright break in the pre-finals week night.
No noticeable divide between staff and student as Halpin, middle, capped with reindeer antlers intermingles in the crowd seemingly leading the way for a surprise appearance of Santa Claus, back middle. Miss LSUA 2016 was among those gathered which included staff, faculty, and a sizable number of students.
Both hands full brings Jesse Elliott, Biology major and student government president, a welcome break from office work and senior year preparations. Once the water tower was a lit an unexpected volley of fireworks was set off garnering a few startled shrieks among the group.
The sparklers are burnt out, the cookies are gone, and Santa Claus has made many a photo cameo as the campus lighting night wraps up.