By REN BISHOP
It was the first time Harper was going to meet Santa.
“He’s only one year old,” Ava Metcalf, 5, said of her younger brother.
Ava and Harper’s mother Jadria Metcalf is a student in Columbia College’s evening program. The college’s annual holiday lighting ceremony on Friday, Dec. 3, gave her family the opportunity to meet Santa and to see her home away from home, she said.
“Ava is always asking where I go to when I leave for class, so this is a great way for me to show my children where I go and for them to meet Santa,” Jadia Metcalf said.
The holiday lighting ceremony, which is in its fourteenth year, helps show the purpose of Columbia College, President Gerald Brouder said in his opening remarks.
“The lights symbolize to our students and our community our mission, to enlighten our students,” Brouder said.
Columbia College’s student government association president Courtney Lauer-Myers, 20, said she believes the ceremony brings the community and the college together during the holiday season.
Columbia College student Charity Barnes was walking her dog Moose just before the ceremony began, and was drawn to the event.
“Moose wanted to see the Christmas lights, so we stopped by,” Barnes said. “It just seemed like a fun, festive thing to do on a cold walk.”
Ceremony participants were offered refreshments and the opportunity to meet Santa. There was also Christmas cookie table at the event where people could decorate their own sugar cookies to take home.