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Back to News <em>Sleigh</em> It Ain’t So!

Sleigh It Ain’t So!

11/29/2023

Annual Christmas at the Mount Celebrations Kicked Off on November 30

Vinny and Dr. Burns braved the heights and hopped on the lift earlier in November to help prepare the tree for the lighting ceremony.

There was lots of merrymaking to be had on Mount Saint Vincent’s Riverdale campus this week as we officially launched the start of the Advent season (a few days early…but who’s counting?!).

That’s right—move over, Rockefeller Center, there’s a new tree in town! Okay, not really new because it’s over 50 feet tall, but you get the picture!

Thursday, November 30 was set as this year’s date for one of the Mount’s most timeless and treasured traditions: Christmas at the Mount! The spirited evening kicked off at 4:30 PM with everyone’s favorite event, our campus tree lighting. This year, we again lit the half-a-century-old Colorado blue spruce on the Great Lawn—one of the largest trees on campus!

Colorado blue spruce trees are native from northern New Mexico through Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, and even into Alberta and British Columbia in Canada. How did it make its way to the Mount’s campus? That’s a little Christmas magic secret we can’t share. But, if you bribe the elves with enough eggnog, they might tell you…

The weather for the tree lighting ceremony was quite pleasant. The temperature was a brisk 46 degrees. Clear skies during the day said goodbye to the sun as it set at 4:28 PM—just in time for crowds to begin to gather. Winds were rather light, blowing in from the southwest at about 9 MPH. While there wasn’t any snow in the picture (yet…), it was a near-perfect evening for an outdoor gathering.

Students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumnae/i, Sisters of Charity, family members, friends—you name it!—all joined together to watch as over 3,600 multicolored LED lights, strung on about 1,032 feet of wire, lit up the iconic tree on the banks of the Hudson River.

There were no resting grinch faces this year, that’s for sure!

The tree lighting ceremony was emceed by our Director for Student Activities, Marcus Williams. Marcus helped usher in the joys of the season as he introduce performances from the CMSV Community Choir. Conor Reidy, Director for Mission and Ministry, also offered a prayer and blessing of the tree.

The Mount’s very own President Burns—who we hear may have a special phone in her office that connects straight to the North Pole—offered her remarks just prior to the colorful illumination.

And speaking of those lights, Dr. Burns was joined by Sister Donna Dodge, President of the Sisters of Charity of New York, and our very own Vinny the Dolphin to pull the giant candy cane lever and light that tree as the crowd counted down!

Missed out on the action? Have no fear! We livestreamed the event for all those near and far to see. Check out the link here.

Guests at this year’s tree lighting ceremony were also be treated to a hot cocoa bar, candy canes, s’mores, and other treats sponsored by the Campus Activities Board (CAB) and Dining Services.

But wait, the most wonderful time of the year didn’t stop there!

Campus Christmas enthusiasts made their way up the hill to Hudson Heights Dining Hall—some caroling along the way—where a festive holiday dinner was be shared among friends beginning at 5:30 PM. Carved steak, baked chicken breast, penne ala vodka, mashed potatoes, and veggies were accompanied by a dessert station where merry revelers decorated their own fresh baked cookies, brownies, and cupcakes.

Our mouths are still watering!

And just in case you wanted to rival Saint Nick for the most festive fellow in town, Christmas at the Mount t-shirts will be on sale beginning the morning of November 30 in the Alumnae Pavilion Student Center for the low price of $5.00.

The are still many more events to be enjoyed as December rings its bells, including the WORDS and Filiment Christmas Show in Hayes Auditorium on December 1 at 7 PM; Christmas parties hosted by several clubs, organizations, and departments on campus; and even the annual Holiday Happy Hour for alumnae/i at Park Avenue Tavern in NYC on December 8 at 6:30 PM.

We’re claus-itive this year will be one to remember.

The best gift of the Christmas season is spending time with friends and loved ones. We hope you’ll join us at the Right Place on the River for one (or all!) of our Christmas at the Mount events.


About the University of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, the University of Mount Saint Vincent offers nationally recognized liberal arts education and a select array of professional fields of study on a landmark campus overlooking the Hudson River. Committed to the education of the whole person, and enriched by the unparalleled cultural, educational and career opportunities of New York City, the College equips students with the knowledge, skills and experiences necessary for lives of achievement, professional accomplishment and leadership in the 21st century.