News Items from UNC Greensboro

UNCG Horn Choir
The UNCG Horn Choir performs at the 2019 Greensboro Festival of Lights. The group is one of several with UNCG ties set to perform at this year’s festival on Friday, Dec. 3.

As autumn gives way to winter, and the nights grow longer and colder, our city lights the darkness and warms its very soul with the holiday cheer of Downtown in December.

It’s light and warmth that have adapted because of the global coronavirus pandemic. Some events were missing last year, but they return this month like old friends visiting for the holidays.

And, once again, UNCG will play its part.

Festival of Lights

Renewing a tradition that goes back more than 30 years, Greensboro will reroute traffic and host a block party in the heart of the city on the first Friday of December.

The Festival of Lights will be held from 5:30 to 9 p.m., with the lighting of the 38-foot tall community tree in Center City Park set for 6:56 p.m.

Greensboro’s Festival of Lights downtown block party is a holiday tradition that goes back more than 30 years.

The UNCG trio 1aChord, who were semi-finalists on “America’s Got Talent”, and Spartan alumnus Wally West’s community singalong are among acts set to perform live at 6:30 p.m. in the park leading up to the tree lighting.

The festival also features a UNCG-branded photo booth at the 100 block of North Elm Street, carolers and acoustic music performances along Elm Street, a laser show at the corner of MLK Drive and South Elm Street, and a marshmallow roasting station.

The Elm Street musical stroll features 21 acts, and it includes a strong UNCG presence.

The UNCG Horn Choir led by Dr. Abigail Pack and the Tuba Band led by director Justin Worley are scheduled to perform.

The 38-foot community tree will be lit at 6:56 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, at Center City Park.

So, too, are the UNCG Chariots a cappella singers, and alumni performers including Laura Jane Vincent, Wally West and the Wassailers, the High Cotton duo of Shawn Patch and Lisa Dames,  and the Gate City Railbenders.

Meanwhile, the Greensboro Project Space on February One Place will host an art exhibition by Bachelor of Fine Arts seniors spanning in all four of its galleries. The exhibition runs through Dec. 11.

On the street outside the gallery, a UNCG Art Market will sell student-made art including paintings, photography, ceramics, prints, sculptures and more. 

Across the street, screenings of films created this semester by New Media and Design students will be projected on the wall of a large building.

Holiday Parade

The day after the Festival of Lights comes the Greensboro Holiday Parade, a tradition that started more than 40 years ago.

The parade runs from noon until 2 p.m.

This year’s grand marshals are UNCG trio 1aChord and N.C. A&T Olympic gold medalist Randolph Ross.

The parade runs from noon until 2 p.m., and once again features Macy’s-style giant balloons along with floats and live music. A UNCG spirit float features the Spartans dance team and cheerleaders.

The parade begins at the intersection of East Lindsey Street and Greene Street, moves south and turns left on Market Street, turns left again on Church Street and ends back at Lindsey. A performance stage is at the corner of Greene and Market.

Tinsel Town

Downtown Greensboro’s holiday celebration also includes its annual Tinsel Town display of 50 trees decorated by local groups, businesses or families. The month-long display runs through Dec. 27 at LeBauer Park.

UNCG will decorate three themed trees.

UNCG will decorate three trees this year, themed for Athletics, Alumni, and the Light the Way campaign.

The walk-through display is open daily from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m., and visitors are encouraged to vote for their favorites. The five trees receiving the most votes will have $500 donations made in their name to the non-profit of their choice.

There’s more to the month downtown, with events and celebrations daily. Santa Claus at the Biltmore Hotel. Movies at the Carolina Theatre. Ice skating at the temporary Winterfest rink.

For a complete list, check out the downtownindecember.org website.

Story by Jeff Mills, University Communications
Photography by Martin W. Kane, University Communications

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