Lhotka Crowned as 76th Saint LuciaThis year’s St. Lucia, Alicia Lhotka of Eden Prairie, exhibits the St. Lucia qualities of service, compassion, character, and courageous leadership.
Posted on December 8th, 2016 by

2016 Saint Lucia Alicia Lhotka (front) with other members of the Lucia Court.

The 76th Festival of St. Lucia celebrated light in the darkest part of winter today with a service in Christ Chapel recognizing six exemplary sophomore women followed by a luncheon hosted by the Gustavus Library Associates. The day provided for a brief pause in what is always a busy season, to allow for reflection on the light within the Gustavus community.

When Alicia Lhotka opened her eyes on Wednesday night, her candle was lit. She was voted by the Gustavus community to be this year’s St. Lucia. “I was freaking out inside. I couldn’t believe it. There were a lot of smiles and hugs afterward,” she said.

Lhotka, an elementary education major, is one of six women on this year’s Court of St. Lucia. They were nominated by the Gustavus community, and voted on by sophomore women. In addition to Alicia, the Court members are Daniella Habib (Providence, R.I.), Keliyah Perkins (Minneapolis), Emma Myhre (Lake Okoboji, Iowa), Prabhjot Singh (Rochester), and Elena Gottlick (Rockford, Ill.). The criteria for their selection is based on service to others, compassion, strength of character and courageous leadership.

Christ Chapel was filled with Gustavus students, faculty, administrators and staff, along with members of the Saint Peter community and former Lucia Court members who drove from across the state to celebrate. Lucia led the way down the aisle, wearing a crown with real candles, followed by the court members, then star children dressed in red robes and a hat, and a tomte child dressed as an elf.

Avery Bather, the Saint Lucia of 2015, gave the sermon. “Darkness exists in our lives,” she said. “What is important is how we choose to act and respond. If we take a stand for what we think is right, we will create change.”

The mother of this year’s Saint Lucia, Lori Lhotka, was proud to see her daughter’s values and character recognized. “As parents, we see those qualities, but to know that when she is away, she still shows those qualities makes me feel good. It’s cool that this community comes to celebrate this and surrounds the students here,” Lhotka said.

Following the celebration, the Gustavus Library Associates hosted a Swedish Smörgåsbord, which allowed the Court to taste lutefisk for the first time.

Reviews were mixed.

The Lucia Court of Prabhjot Singh, Daniella Habib, Elena Gottlick, Alicia Lhotka, Emma Myhre, and Keliyah Perkins with the Star Children and tomte.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Luc Hatlestad


One Comment

  1. Ray Sajulga says:

    Half of these talented women live on the east side of Uhler. Wow!