Because construction at Mirror Lake that will not be completed until at least the spring of 2018, Light Up the Lake will occur in a new location with a new name for the first time since the event first took place in 2003.
Light Up North Area, or LUNA, is the new name of the annual lighting ceremony that will be held by Ohio Staters, Inc. on Wednesday evening. The newly completed North Residential District was chosen as an alternate location for the event once the group found out Mirror Lake would be unavailable.
“We were looking at North District, we were looking at, like, the Oval, and we kind of decided this was our best place because of all of the power over here as well as the residence halls,” said Anne Montalto, a fourth-year in human development and family science and co-chair of LUNA.
Members of Ohio Staters Inc. spent six hours on Saturday stringing up the lights that will illuminate trees and lampposts around the area. They will be lit every night until the end of February following Wednesday night’s lighting ceremony.
The lighting ceremony will feature performances from student groups and refreshments such as hot chocolate. At the end of the ceremony students will assemble along the tree-lined walk from Archer House to High Street to sing Carmen, after which the lights will lit.
The Light Up the Lake tradition began as a way to bring cheer to the campus community during the holiday season and throughout the winter, said Montalto.
“During the winter months and right before finals people are kind of down and just want to go home, so it’s a way to bring the community together and lift up spirits and community building right before finals,” she said.
Moving the lighting ceremony to North District has come with a new set of challenges for the students planning the event. Margaret Meyo, second-year in finance and co-chair of LUNA, said they had to work with a whole new team of people to organize the event this year.
“We had to collaborate a lot more with (the Office of Student Life) because this is their new area,” she said. “(Facilities Operations and Development) didn’t really know much of the area until now, so it’s like a whole new set of people that we had to communicate with and get in contact with.”
The event will continue to take place at the North Residential District until construction is completed at Mirror Lake.
One of the biggest changes many students might notice is the name of the event, which has been Light Up the Lake since the tradition started. Austin Cool, third-year in biochemistry and co-chair of LUNA, said the name was inspired by a member that noticed an acronym could be used to market the event.
“We actually have to credit it to Kiley Nolan, she’s one of our members, she thought of Light Up North Area because the acronym spells out LUNA, so we thought it would be kind of catchy,” he said.
Refreshments will be served at 6 p.m. and the ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m.