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[Pacific Lutheran Scene]

Campus

PLU’s Sankta Lucia festival marks 50 years

[photo] The 1954-55 Lucia, Marion Churness ’58, is crowned by Erv Severtson ’55
The 1954-55 Lucia, Marion Churness '58, is crowned by Erv Severtson '55, student body president, while attendant Kathryn Gulhaugen '56 watches the ceremony.

This year's Sankta Lucia festival at PLU will be a milestone celebration in the history of the holiday festivities. The festival, scheduled for Friday, Dec. 1, 2000, marks the 50th anniversary of the PLU event.

"For one thing, we no longer wake students in the wee morning hours," says Susan Young, Lucia fest coordinator and director of the university's Scandinavian Cultural Center.

"Instead, Lucia is crowned at a private, sashing ceremony that takes place just moments before the event begins. Until that moment, no one knows who has been selected."

At the 2000 festival, Lola (Murk) Gracey '54, PLU's first Lucia, will do the honors (see PLU's first Lucia recalls early traditions). Following the sashing, a candelight program takes place in Lagerquist Concert Hall. It includes singing, dancing and a special visit from Tomte (the Swedish Santa Claus). This year's celebration also includes a private brunch for past Lucias and their guests on Saturday, Dec. 2.

In the early years, Young says, the Lucia program was sponsored by the SPURS, a sophomore student service organization. The Scandinavian Cultural Center took over sponsorship in recent years and, in 1999, IKEA, the Swedish furniture store in Renton, Wash., became an official co-sponsor.

As part of this year's Lucia program, the Lucia täg (attendants) will take part in IKEA's additional Dec. 13 Sankta Lucia festival. "It's a wonderful program, aimed especially at children," says Young.

Reservations are required for the Dec. 1 event. It starts at 7:30 p.m., and the cost is $5 for adults, $3 for students, and children under 12 are admitted free of charge. Phone 253-535-7322 for reservations and information.


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