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IFC hosts holiday trolley light tours around State College fraternity houses

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IFC Holiday Lights

Students board a trolley outside Sigma Nu fraternity for the IFC Holiday Light Tours on Burrowes St. on Wednesday, December 7, 2016.

As the Penn State Trolley looped around downtown State College to get the best views of the fraternity houses decked out in holiday lights, passengers of all ages oohed and aahed.

Kappa Sigma, adorned with gold lights and sparkling red and green Christmas trees, was an instant crowd pleaser. Phi Kappa Psi, with an inflatable candy cane tunnel, also received rave reviews.

Many houses stayed true to tradition — like Alpha Zeta with a live nativity scene complete with a baby dairy cow.

The trolley rides were offered as part of the Interfraternity Council’s Holiday Lights Tours on Wednesday night. Fraternity houses along Burrowes Street, many of which sported festive indoor and outdoor decorations, were open to the public.

“The reason we keep doing it is for the kids and the community members,” IFC President Alex Frederick said. “I think they enjoy the tours and getting to see the houses in a nice light.”

State College Mayor Elizabeth Goreham said she had a “fabulous” time admiring the fraternities, noting “it’s wonderful to see that we’re humans and they’re humans.”

“I appreciate it —they’re very welcoming,” Goreham said. “I’ve been very impressed.”

Though Allison Myers said she and her 5-year-old daughter were already getting in the Christmas spirit, attending the tour made it “extra special.”

“It was very festive, and it was a really good time,” Myers, 30, said.

Members of Beta Theta Pi were eager to welcome community members into their house during the Holiday Lights Tours.

“ It’s only a few times a year that we really get to have a lot of different people here,” Gregory Rizzo (junior-finance), a fraternity brother, said. “Seeing the little kids is so exciting because they seem so happy — this is all for them.”

Yet, making sure the house’s interior decorations were ready for the night was a different story, Vice President for Programming Matt Reinmund said.

A 17-foot tree was squeezed through a tight doorway, but in order to set in a corner, members had to either hoist it up from a second-story alcove or push it from below.

“We originally bought a tree stand from Walmart, and it broke because this is a 325-pound tree, or probably more,” Reinmund (sophomore-finance) said. “So, we had to build our own.”

Frederick (junior-political science and communications) said this year, the holiday lights marked a “friendly competition” in the IFC, but wouldn’t include any formal winners.

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Alison Kuznitz is a greek life and THON reporter for The Daily Collegian. Follow her on Twitter at @AlisonKuznitz or email her at

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