ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The University of New Mexico’s 70th annual Hanging of the Greens will be held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, organizers hope to continue to celebrate the university’s oldest student tradition with the community by having workshops.

Kaylee Maxon is this year’s Mortar Board chapter president and oversees the event chairs who plan the Hanging of the Greens. “It was definitely something that we wanted to keep going, but it’s hard to connect with so many people on campus when you’re virtual,” Maxon said. “I think not having it would create an even bigger distance, and we didn’t want to give people a chance to distance each other.”

This year the university will provide holiday workshops like how to make luminarias, that the community can take part in. Maxon said the group’s hope for these workshops was to give the community a chance to bring part of the UNM campus spirit home with them. She sees the luminarias as a symbol of hope in such isolating times. “If we can just get people to do something simple as setting up luminarias at their house, hopefully, people can see there’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” Maxon said.

Ansely Emeanuwa, UNM’s reigning Homecoming King and resident florist, has had the honor of curating the wreath that is hung on the President’s door for the second year in a row. Emeanuwa was thrilled at the news that the event was still going to happen because he had bigger and better plans for this year’s wreath. “Being part of UNM’s oldest tradition makes me feel like I am part of it,” Emeanuwa said. “This is something I’ll be able to talk about with my grandchildren someday.”

(Photos taken by Hyunju Blemel in 2019)

The event lineup on Nov. 20 will include Zoom workshops on how to make luminarias, Emeanuwa will host a workshop on how to design a wreath and caroling with UNM’s a cappella group Something Major. People can access the movie The Polar Express all day at

On-campus students will be able to pick up kits that include paper bags and candles to make their own luminarias. Students are encouraged to tag @unmmortarboard and @unmalumni with pictures of their luminaria decorated spaces for a chance to win prizes provided by the UNM Bookstore and sponsored by UNM Alumni Relations.

For more information and codes to Zoom workshops, visit the UNM website.

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