The sound of a trumpet and the beat of drums transformed a typical dinner into a Hogwarts feast complete with twinkling lights and showers of candy.
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The annual freshmen holiday dinner took place at Commons on Saturday and featured musical performances and cameo appearances by Santa and Ms. Claus. At first the dinner didn’t seem so out of the ordinary except that there were more ties and dresses than usual. The line — composed of freshmen and crashers from Yale Model Congress — for the hot food ran down the center aisle of commons and partially snaked around the perimeter of the hall.
Norman Tappin, head general service assistant at the Hall of Graduate Studies dining hall, led the “parade of comestibles” as he put it, a parade displaying a massive turkey and extra-long challah bread along with pounds of shrimp and sushi sprinkled with lobsters. Once the comestibles were placed on an elevated platform, the freshmen diners-turned-animals stormed to the food creating a mob scene comparable to Black Friday store openings. Some lucky students receiving whole lobsters and cookie Christmas trees.
Maureen O’Donnell, Commons General Manager, said the event was Yale Dining’s favorite of the entire year.
“We spend weeks planning for this,” she said. “This is our big show of appreciation for the freshman class, to show how much we really care.”
Correction: December 7, 2010
An earlier version of this post mistakenly said that Dean of Student Affairs Marichal Gentry led the parade when it was actually Norman Tappin, head general service assistant at the Hall of Graduate Studies dining hall.