• 66°

High Point University holds 7th Community Christmas

Community Christmas

Families journey through campus beneath tunnels of lights and falling snow on one of four Polar Express trains. Submitted post

High Point University

HIGH POINT — Four-year-old Payton Aust and her sister, 3-year-old Taylor, piled into a train car aboard the Polar Express and traveled through tunnels of lights and falling snow at High Point University. As their journey came to a stop, Payton looked to her parents, Brad and Robin Aust, with a smile on her face. She was ready for her next Community Christmas adventure.

“We’ve come every year for the last five years,” said High Point resident Robin Aust. “It’s become a tradition for us, and the kids really do love it. It’s a family-friendly event that people of all ages can come and enjoy, and I think on a larger scale that it’s a great morale booster for the community.” 

Free and open to the public, the university’s Community Christmas celebration has grown in popularity in the Piedmont Triad. 

“We’ve watched as the event has grown and transformed, and it never fails to impress,” said Brad Aust. “HPU has and continues to do a lot both within the university and for the surrounding community. The school’s growth isn’t exclusive, and giving back shows the true generosity of the university.”

High Point University welcomed about 12,000 people to campus on this first night.

Neighbors in High Point and friends from across the Triad were shuttled to campus from Oak Hollow Mall for the celebration. They were greeted at the university’s campus by a life-size Nativity scene with a photo station, Polar Express train rides, Santa’s Stable petting zoo, a Crafty Elf Lego Workshop and more.   

The university continued its tradition of celebrating Christmas with the community by inviting residents to partake in communion, a new addition to this year’s festivities. Guests also enjoyed community choirs, falling snow, hot cocoa, and elves on stilts, and they made their way to visit Santa Claus in the Slane Student Center, where each child received a gift and photo. 

For many in the Triad, the celebration has become a way for families to embrace the Christmas spirit while they stroll through campus and enjoy the sights and sounds of the season.

Celeste Blockem and her son, Jordan Davis, had their photo taken with Santa, and she watched as he received an Hight Point University hat from one of Santa’s elves.

“This event is so great every year,” said Blockem. “We’ve come several times and there’s always something new. It makes it exciting for us each time, and I’m always amazed at how generous and giving the university is.”

Seven-year-old Bryanna Pratt of High Point explored the Crafty Elf Lego Workshop in Wanek Center, overwhelmed with all the activities on campus.

“I’ve done too much stuff to even start naming it,” Pratt said. “But I can try. I got hot chocolate, colored a picture of Lego Santa, ate a hot dog, listened to bands play music and now I’m going to see Santa. Someone said there were elves with Santa too. Can I really see an elf? I’m excited for Santa, but I really want to see an elf.”

Comments

Education

Local student surprised with horse-drawn ride home from school

Local

Pedestrian hospitalized after being struck by police car

Local

Torch Run returns to Rowan streets, raises money for Special Olympics

Crime

Fish arcade company drops suit against Rowan County Sheriff’s Office

Crime

Man faces kidnapping, assault charges after woman escapes at Webb Road Flea Market

Local

Natoli promoted to assistant county manager, will retain human resources director title

Education

Attendance restriction lifted for RSS graduation ceremonies

Business

Rowan Chamber of Commerce will host in-person Power in Partnership on Thursday

Business

Rowan EDC will undergo name change, alter board requirements with updates to bylaws

Nation/World

Israel strikes Gaza tunnels as truce efforts remain elusive

Nation/World

Supreme Court to take up major abortion rights challenge

Nation/World

Biden boosting world vaccine sharing commitment to 80M doses

Crime

Man charged for stowing away on Norfolk Southern train, impeding railroad operations

Local

Group will protest treatment of Georgia woman during 2019 traffic stop

Crime

Man overdoses at Piedmont Correctional Institute

Crime

Sheriff’s Office: Two men escape from jail, found in bushes on Fulton Street

Ask Us

Ask Us: When will North Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue be resurfaced?

Local

Political Notebook: Rowan’s lawmakers pass 140 bills into the opposite chamber before deadline

Local

Police chief to present use of force policy; city manager to present 2021-22 budget

Crime

Blotter: Rockwell man arrested on charges of felony larceny, possession of stolen vehicle

Coronavirus

CDC director says mask turnaround based solely on science

News

Catawba College hosts three in-person commencement ceremonies

Local

With high case loads causing numerous staff departures, Child Protective Services seeks more positions

Education

Livingstone College graduates celebrate ‘crossing the finish line’ during commencement celebration