LA MIRADA, CALIF. — Biola University will host the annual University Tree Lighting Ceremony on Monday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m., which draws thousands of alumni back to campus each year.

The tree lighting will also feature the university’s annual candle ceremony, which has been altered to conserve water due to California’s drought. This year, Biola is replacing wax candles with an app that allows users to “light” virtual candles on smartphones around them, saving thousands of dollars and gallons of water which is used to power wash the sidewalks free of wax each year after the ceremony.

The tree lighting is a tradition at Biola University and has been held annually for the past 30 years. The event will take place on Metzger Lawn and will be livestreamed for those unable to attend. A Christmas fair featuring crafts and other booths will start at 5:45 p.m.

The Christmas fair will feature an ornament making station hosted by Student Programming Activities, a cookie decorating station sponsored by the Alumni Office, a photo booth, $1 hot cocoa and cider, and a live hand bell choir performance from Biola’s Conservatory of Music. Guests are invited to enjoy the fair until the start of the ceremony, which will be held in the same location.

The ceremony will include Christmas carols, led by a student band and assistant professor at the Conservatory of Music, Jeff Askew. The tree will be lit by Alton Lim, who donated $12 million to Biola’s new Alton and Lydia Lim School of Science, Technology and Health. He will be accompanied by his son, Dan Lim.  

Biola encourages the surrounding community to attend the annual tree lighting ceremony. Students, parents and alumni are also highly encouraged to attend. The complimentary fair and ceremony do not require registration, and guests of all ages are encouraged to participate.

For more information, contact Jenna Loumagne, media relations specialist, at (562) 777-4061 or