The official holiday lighting ceremony at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith will be held on Nov. 25, followed on Dec. 2 with the annual Season’s Greetings Concert.

The two events are designed to focus attention on the season, according to Stacey Jones of Fort Smith, associate vice chancellor for campus and community events.

"At one time we held the events on the same night," said Jones, "but we split them into two separate events last year, and it worked really well."

Nov. 25: Holiday Lighting Ceremony

The annual lighting ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. Nov. 25 at Reynolds Bell Tower in the center of campus, giving students and community members an opportunity to see the campus decorated with holiday lights.

Jones said an added feature at this year’s lighting ceremony will be the announcement of winners in a Christmas tree decorating contest in which approximately 20 UAFS clubs and organizations are vying for prizes. The trees are located in one of the quadrants near the Reynolds Bell Tower. The trees will be given to needy families in mid-December.

"The lighting ceremony will also include vocalists to provide seasonal music and add to the holiday spirit," said Jones. "In addition, we’ll serve hot chocolate to drink. Following the ceremony, those attending can tour campus to view the variety of lights."

For more information, contact the Box Office at 479-788-7300.

Dec. 2: Season’s Greetings Concert

Approximately 125 vocal and instrumental music students will perform in the Season’s Greetings Concert at 7 p.m. Dec. 2 at the Arkansas Best Performing Arts Center at the Fort Smith Convention Center, 55 S. 7th St.

Featured groups include the University Chorale, Women’s Chorus, Symphonic Band, Jazz Band, Jazz Catz, Percussion Ensemble, Brass Ensemble and Vocal Performance Workshop.

Students from chamber ensembles, including the Woodwind Ensemble and Flute Choir, will provide music in the lobby prior to the concert.

Dr. Edward White of Fort Smith, interim head of the Music Department, said the music faculty and students enjoy the concert because everyone in the department is involved.

"All of our students participate in some way, and we all work together to put this on," he said.

White called the Season’s Greeting Concert a "celebration."

"First and foremost, it is a celebration of the upcoming Christmas season, but it is also a celebration of the hard work and dedication of the music students and faculty during the fall semester," he said. "The concert is both joyous and beautiful. We look forward to this event every year."

The concert is part of the Season of Entertainment 33 schedule of events provided by UAFS, but it is free admission.

For more information, call the Music Department at 479-788-7558.