Photos and story by Travis Cameron / Contributing Writer
This year MTSU’s agritourism class hosted their second annual Christmas Village Saturday in the Tennessee Livestock Center, featuring Santa and MTSU farm animals. Aside from the small entry fee, visitors could donate three nonperishable food items to get in, and the proceeds were donated to the MTSU Student Food Pantry.
Smiling faces filled the center as children flocked to pet the variety of animals, participate in the interactive farm exhibit and of course get a picture with Santa himself.
From ducks to goats, pigs and a horse, there were many small hands reaching timidly out to pet a familiar friend. The interactive farm exhibit proved a hit, as children picked fake vegetables and learned to milk a wooden cow. Much time was spent deliberating over carrots or lettuce, and the apple tree always had a visitor.
There wasn’t a child that came out of the hay maze without running full speed, sporting a triumphant grin on their face. Many of them ran right back over to the entrance, eager to try again. Santa himself sat next to Mrs. Claus, joined by a small company of elves as parents stood crouched in all positions to get a picture of their kid on Santa’s lap.
The MTSU Creamery had a booth serving all kinds of treats, accompanied by their legendary chocolate milk. Parents hoisted their kids up to find the perfect treat, which of course was paired with a glass of the good stuff.
Alanna Vaught, an instructor in the Department of Agriculture, spoke optimistically about this year’s event, noting that it had to be moved to a larger facility to accommodate a bigger crowd. Last year, they had to turn people away to avoid overcrowding.
Dozens of students from Vaught’s class manned the various stations, each with patience for the excited children.
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