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WSIU TV Program Highlights Holiday Traditions in Southern Illinois

Friday, December 18, 2009

Contact: Jak Tichenor, WSIU TV Producer, (618) 453-6187,

Carbondale, Ill. - WSIU Public Television, a public media arm of Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC), will present a WSIU InFocus special on Friday, December 25 at 9pm featuring fun ways that Southern Illinoisans make the holiday season merry and bright. The half-hour program will repeat on Sunday, December 27 at 12:30pm and again on Friday, January 1 at 5pm.

In segment one, host Debbie Whitlatch goes behind the scenes of Candy Cane Lane in West Frankfort, Illinois, the site of an annual holiday display that has drawn thousands of visitors for nearly 20 years. With the help of neighbors and students, the neighborhood boasts five blocks of extraordinary scenes of glowing Christmas lights. The brainchild of the tradition is Tim Murphy, an art teacher at West Frankfort High School who demonstrates his passion for Christmas rituals by decorating his home and yard in a spectacular way.

The program also features a visit to the home of Rachel Malcolm Ensor of Murphysboro, Illinois, who leads a tour of her lavishly decorated Victorian home and shares why certain displays invoke special memories. InFocus also travels to Tom's Place in De Soto, Illinois where Chef Lasse Sorenson demonstrates how to prepare Strawberries Romanov. Sorenson's wife, Mary Jane Sorenson, also shares tips on setting a festive holiday table.

About WSIU
WSIU Public Broadcasting is licensed to the Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University and is an integral part of the College of Mass Communication & Media Arts on the Carbondale campus. It operates three digital public television channels, three public radio stations, a website, local TV and FM production units, and an education and community outreach department - reaching more than three million people across five states and beyond. WSIU's mission is to improve the quality of life of the people they serve. The WSIU stations partner with other community organizations to promote positive change and to support the academic and public service missions of Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Visit for more information.

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