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Chamber has many activities planned

Sept. 12, 2003

By Elizabeth Bishop, reporter

Parents Weekend has arrived once again, and the Baylor Chamber of Commerce has prepared plenty of activities for students to share with their parents.

Baylor Chamber alumnus Vince Clark will speak tonight about Baylor's history from 1845 to the present. The presentation will take place at 5 p.m. in the Barfield Drawing Room of the Bill Daniel Student Center.

One popular Parents Weekend event is After Dark, Baylor's variety show where students show off their talents to the rest of the university with acts ranging from singing to stand-up comedy. There will be performances at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. today in Waco Hall.

The Chamber PIT will provide more comedy for parents and students. Chamber members will perform a comedic skit that Brent Bowden, a Garland junior and general assistant of the event, said will be directed toward the parents.

'We want to get the parents actually involved the show,' Bowden said. Chamber PIT will take place at 11:30 p.m. today at Minglewood Bowl.

Parents will have an opportunity to meet their childrens' professors at the Parent-Faculty Coffee at 8:30 Saturday morning. Donuts, coffee and orange juice will be served.

'The coffee is an excellent time for parents and students to come meet their professors,' Kyle Richardson, a Shawnee, Okla. junior and Parents Weekend committee chairman, said. 'Parents like to get a chance to talk to their students' professors and see what is going on in the classroom,' he said.

At least 350 faculty members have registered for the coffee and 50 to 100 more are expected to show up as well.

Dinner on the Grounds will take place at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the Burleson Quadrangle, providing students and parents the chance to enjoy a barbecue lunch together.

Richardson said that President Robert B. Sloan Jr. will deliver a speech to parents and one of Baylor's mascots will make an appearance.

The city of Waco also offers many attractions for parents and students. The Dr Pepper Museum is one of Waco's oldest tourist stops., paying tribute to the soft drink created here Waco in 1885.

According to the museum's website, visitors can see an abandoned Artesian well, a collection of rare soda bottles and machines used to make fountain drinks, with samples served at the end of the tour.

Families also can check out Treasure City, a flea market located at 2112 LaSalle Avenue.

Manager Debbie Looney said that vendors bring a wide variety of things to sell. Popular items are glassware, Mexican imports, flower arrangements and fresh produce.

'Just you name it, really,' Looney said. 'People find some really good treasures.'

Looney said the best time to come is at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday or 11 a.m. on Sunday.

Restaurants in and around Waco range from deeply cultural to traditional cafes. The Czech Stop and Little Czech Bakery in West offers sandwiches and baked items. The bakery has traditional Czech food in tribute to the town's strong cultural background including ham, sausage and fruit kolaches. The Czech Stop is on I-35, north of Waco.

Another food stop is the newly re-opened Elite Circle Grille. After being closed for two years of renovations, the restaurant has finally re-opened its doors. Manager Carlos Garcia said that many people will be shocked by the restaurant's new, modern look.

'I know that some of these parents came here when they were students, so for them, it's a traditional thing,' he said. 'This is the new Baylor generation.'

Cameron Park offers plenty of outdoor activities for students and parents as well. It is the second largest inner-city park in the United States, behind New York City's famous Central Park. Cameron Park has extensive mountain biking trails, two disc golf courses and several great picnicking spots. The Cameron Park Zoo, located at 1701 N. 4th Street, has animals from all over the world in habitats similar to their native ones.

With all the area has to offer, Baylor and the Waco community are geared up to make Parents Weekend a success.