By Brianne Welch and Logan Butts
Potential rain may have moved Lighting of the Green’s tenth anniversary into Allen Arena, but the night only brought a downpour of festive cheer and a surprise fit for the season.
Grant returned to be the evening’s emcee. The lineup consisted of Danny Gokey, Jon Guerra, The Willis Clan, Brother Parker and surprise guest Vince Gill.
Outside of the night’s entertainment, Lipscomb University shared that a new scholarship will be created in Grant’s honor.
Lipscomb’s presidential spouse Rhonda Lowry was on hand to announce a gift of $50,000 to start the scholarship. During the show, a painting was created and will be auctioned off. The proceeds will go to the scholarship fund.
During the show, the Lipscomb Academy and Lipscomb University choruses also performed Christmas songs.
Grant performed a number of her Christmas-themed hits throughout the night, including “Emmanuel” and “Tennessee Christmas.”
“I’ve always grown up listening to Amy Grant Christmas [music], so it’s kind of a nostalgic thing for me to come and listen to her sing,” attendee Mallory Grady said.
Vendors run by local businesses were set up in the arena for anyone in attendance to visit before the show began.
Santa and Mrs. Claus were made available for pictures inside of the Hall of Fame room and free hot chocolate and cookies were offered to guests as they arrived to the show.
“I just like the whole setup of everything with the booths,” sophomore Kasey Gibson said. “It’s very Christmasy, so I like that.”
The night of holiday festivities concluded with the tradition of lighting of Lipscomb’s Christmas tree in the Allen Arena Mall. Due to the show being held indoors, the lighting of the tree was broadcast into the arena from the mall.
“My favorite part of Lighting of the Green is at the end,” senior Karli Crosby said. “It feels like New Year’s, the countdown from ten to one and [then] they light the Christmas tree.”
Lipscomb’s head volleyball coach Brandon Rosenthal and captain Lauren Ford had the honor of lighting the colorful tree.
The volleyball team was fresh off receiving a historic bid for the NCAA Tournament.
To Crosby, no Christmas season is complete without a jolly dose of Lighting of the Green.
“Now, it’s like a tradition,” Crosby said. “It’s like Christmas doesn’t really start until Lighting of the Green happens.”
Photo gallery by Erin Turner and Sam Webb. Carousel photo by Turner.