Topekans To Represent Washburn at National Christmas Tree Lighting

By: From 13 News, Posted by Ralph Hipp
By: From 13 News, Posted by Ralph Hipp


TOPEKA – Two Topekans, Amanda Hughes, assistant director, university relations, and Cindy Rogers, former president, Washburn Alumni Association, will represent Washburn University at the 2012 National Christmas Tree Lighting on Thursday, Dec. 6 in President’s Park in Washington, D.C.

Hughes and Rogers will join artists and youth from each U.S. state, territory and the District of Columbia who were selected to design and create ornaments for their respective state or territory tree. The 90th Annual National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony begins four weeks of holiday events in President’s Park. The National Park Service and National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, sponsor the event.

The 30-year tradition of the official Kansas ornament continues in 2012 with recognition of Washburn’s sesquicentennial anniversary. This year’s ornament features the 150th anniversary logo of Washburn University, depicting the school’s mascot, the Ichabod. The back of the ornament bears the state seal.

Twelve official Kansas ornaments will be displayed on the Kansas state tree, along with another one dozen ornaments made of wheat. The wheat ornaments were made by students at Quincy Elementary School, the art magnet school of Topeka Unified School District 501. The longtime designer of Kansas’ annual state ornament, Topeka artist Anita Wolgast, worked with the children, who soaked wheat in water and twisted it into a variety of shapes.

As one of America’s oldest holiday traditions, the National Christmas Tree Lighting began on Christmas Eve in 1923, when President Calvin Coolidge lit a Christmas tree in front of 3,000 spectators on the Ellipse in President’s Park. Since 1923, each succeeding President has carried on the tradition of what now has become a month-long event presented by the National Park Foundation and National Park Service. In addition to the National Christmas Tree display, President’s Park hosts a variety of family-oriented holiday attractions, such as Santa’s Workshop, nightly holiday performances, a Yule log, nativity scene, and model train display. For ticket information and talent announcements, as well as other event details, please visit www.thenationaltree.org.

The members of the committee who designed the official Kansas ornament were Hughes, Adrianne Johnson, Rogers, Wolgast and Brandi Youse. The ornaments are available for purchase at the Washburn’s Ichabod Shop for $24. They also can be purchased at the Kansas Historical Society gift shop, the Rally House and the Mulvane Art Museum gift shop.

Experience the magic of the 2012 National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony on KTWU, airing the ceremony at 7:00 next Tuesday, Dec. 11th; 9:00pm Monday, Dec. 17; and 10:00 Christmas Morning.

Viewers may also watch the pre-show and tree lighting ceremony online at thenationaltree.org starting at 3:30pm on Thursday, December 6th. Following the live online stream, the show will be available anytime on-demand.

The 90th Annual National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony begins four weeks of holiday events in President’s Park. The National Park Service and National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, sponsor the event. The 30-year tradition of the official Kansas ornament continues in 2012 with recognition of Washburn’s sesquicentennial anniversary. This year’s ornament features the 150th anniversary logo of Washburn University, depicting the school’s mascot, the Ichabod. The back of the ornament bears the state seal.

Twelve official Kansas ornaments will be displayed on the Kansas state tree, along with another one dozen ornaments made of wheat. The wheat ornaments were made by students at Quincy Elementary School, the art magnet school of Topeka Unified School District 501. The longtime designer of Kansas’ annual state ornament, Topeka artist Anita Wolgast, worked with the children, who soaked wheat in water and twisted it into a variety of shapes.


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