A pair of reindeer and free hot chocolate greeted students on the campus mall Wednesday.
The event, put together by the Student Events Team each year, is a way for students to relax and take a break from finals. Jack Wheeler, the graduate advisor for the SET, helped organize the event this year.
“We try to do this event every winter as it is more of a seasonal event, and it has been going on for many years. It is an event that students look forward to every year,” said Wheeler. “Reindeer especially now have a kind of a significant meaning with Christmas time and the holiday spirit. It is a great turnout of students, staff and community members.”
During the pandemic, it was hard for SET to host this event.
“Many students were not on campus during the pandemic, so there was not a huge turnout. However, the turnout in the past has been great. We get members from all over the community and students,” said Wheeler. “Usually, we expect around 700 students to pass through. However, this year we expected around 700 to 900, and I think we had just that number.”
Noel Productions, the company that brings the reindeer, has been working with the university to bring the reindeer and spread holiday cheer for the last couple of years. So they were excited to return this year and continue spreading the holiday cheer.
“The company was excited to come back and bring the reindeer back to campus. The staff that works is very knowledgeable about it, and the person who comes and speaks and also dresses up as something festive,” said Wheeler. “It is also something to do that is just a quick 20 minutes, and people can understand a little more about reindeer.”
This event was also a chance for students to destress before the craziness of finals next week.
“Many people do not actually think that reindeer are real. So going and seeing reindeer and learning a little bit about them while taking a couple of photos and enjoying a cup of hot cocoa is something that students love every year,” said Wheeler. “It also gets students in the holiday spirit as it is right between Thanksgiving break and finals week, so it should act like a stress reliever.”
One of the farm workers gave students an educational seminar to get some information about the festival creatures. It was a short five- to 10-minute spiel about how they raise the reindeer as well as basic information about the animals.
To learn more about Noel Productions and the reindeer, visit noelproductionsllc.com.
Header Photo: Students gathered around outside the Centennial Student Union to visit the fuel-source powering Santa’s sleigh on Wednesday, Nov. 30. (Lilly Anderson/The Reporter)
Write to Lauren Viska at firstname.lastname@example.org