Simpson’s very own ‘Festival of Trees’


Chloe Peck

Let the winter festivities begin!

by Chloe Peck, Staff Reporter

This year marks the second annual Festival of Trees and Ben Nielsen, the general manager for Sodexo, is eager to see what the growing tradition will look like. 

“I enjoy Christmas and the winter season in general. I think the trees are always so beautiful – I have a tree every year myself. It’s just a great way to get people involved,” Nielsen said. “I try to stray away from putting the label of ‘Christmas’ on anything because I really want every student to feel they can be involved. The holiday season is truly for all people, all holidays.” 

This year 18 teams signed up to participate, which is seven more than last year. 

“It was really exciting to me that so many people wanted to participate again. That was the biggest thing for me, because any way I can bring some more fun to the campus is a win for everyone,” Nielsen said. 

And the event truly is for anyone and everyone. To get a tree, all you have to do is grab a few friends and sign up. Nielsen advises anyone wanting to participate next year, to keep an eye out for a google form from the conference’s email account. 

“We will provide any and all material that teams need: trees, garland, ornaments, lights, all of that. But if your team already has a tree and decorations to use, that’s fine as well. When we send out the google form, you will just need to let us know what you need, if anything,” Nielsen said. 

Then, it’s just fun and games decorating the trees. There’s actually a hefty prize for the winning team at the end as well.

“Whatever team has the most votes at the end of this semester wins $300 in catering, which can be used whenever and however they want. So if you want to use it all on one event, you can, or you can split it up over multiple events,” Nielsen said. 

This year’s voting will be open through Thursday, Dec. 15, at 5 p.m. on the second floor of Kent. If you’re interested in participating, head over and drop a vote for your favorite tree.

“I’m very happy we decided to create this new tradition here at Simpson. When we started it last year, it was an attempt to get more groups together and get people involved post-COVID,” Nielsen said. “And now the hope is to continue doing it as long as we can.”