Christmas on Fifth Street Festivities to Take Place Nov. 29Nov. 16, 2007
by Rebekah Hardage, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805
Baylor University Student Activities and the Division of Student Life will host the annual Christmas on Fifth Street festivities at Baylor from 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, at the Burleson Quadrangle and the Bill Daniel Student Center.
The all-university Christmas celebration is free and open to the public. Last year, the event had to be moved indoors due to inclement weather. This year, organizers hope for a crowd of more than 7,000 people for the event that has become a Baylor tradition.
The holiday celebration will feature KOT's 42nd annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony and concert. The event will begin at 6 p.m. with caroling by members of Kappa Kappa Gamma. At 6:45 p.m., the Christmas story will be read, followed by the lighting of the Christmas tree.
Christian musician Chris Rice will take the stage at 7 p.m., followed by country artist Clay Walker, who will perform from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m.
Walker was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis several years ago, and his involvement with the event inspired KOT to donate the benefits to MS research.
KOT Christmas Tree committee member Will Robinson expressed the group's desire to make the focus about helping others. "We are really glad we have the opportunity to raise awareness for MS, and we hope the Baylor community will support the cause as well," Robinson said.
Donation boxes will be located around the event area for those interested in giving.
A great deal of planning goes into making the Christmas Tree Lighting possible. In fact, KOT member Ross Mitchell has been working with a company in Quebec, Canada, to get the live tree to Waco. "It's a 30-foot-tall evergreen that should be coming in on Monday [Nov. 19]," Mitchell said.
KOT hopes that this event will get the Baylor community in the Christmas spirit. KOT member Andrew Meads said, "It's right before dead week and exams, which is kind of a down time. I think it's neat how the Baylor community comes together for this event and gets ready for the Christmas season."
Student Activities will be supervising many other aspects of the event. Mike Riemer, associate director for campus programs, said they would be helping with the "kids creation station" and information area located on the first floor of the Bill Daniel Student Center.
The second floor of the SUB will be turned into a winter wonderland, where kids will be able to walk through the forest display on their way through the North Pole to find Santa and Mrs. Claus.
A live nativity scene also will be present with donkeys and camels with a recording of the Christmas story read by University Chaplain Burt Burleson. The Baylor Riding Association will sponsor a petting zoo with donkeys, sheep and goats.
The Interfraternity and Panhellenic councils will sponsor carriage rides that evening. A Cinderella carriage and a traditional carriage will take guests through the Baylor campus, departing from the steps of Marrs McLean Gym.
The Baylor Religious Hour Choir is sponsoring a concert by the Annie Moses Band in the Barfield Drawing Room. BRH will start the show with Christmas carols at 6:30 p.m., followed by the Annie Moses Band performance at 7 p.m.
Free hot chocolate and apple cider from Common Grounds will be available on Fountain Mall.
T-shirts for Christmas on 5th Street and for the Christmas Tree Lighting can be purchased in the lobbies of the Bill Daniel Student Center, Collins and Penland Residence Halls.
For more information on Christmas on Fifth Street, visit www.baylor.edu/christmason5th.