Baylor Celebrates Holidays With 'Christmas On Fifth Street'

  • News Photo 909
    Dan Sullivan of Kappa Omega Tau hangs lights on the 50-foot Douglas fir in Burleson Quadrangle.
    Jason Raddin / Baylor Photography
  • News Photo 905
    KOT members Matt Rooker (left) and Dan Sullivan (right) hang Christmas lights on the Christmas tree in Burleson Quad preparing for "Christmas on Fifth Street"
    Donald Meyerson / Baylor Photography
  • News Photo 910
    Dan Sullivan of Kappa Omega Tau checks a string of lights before hanging them on the Christmas Tree in Burleson Quadrangle. KOT placed more than 3,000 feet of lights on the tree.
    Jason Raddin / Baylor Photography
  • News Photo 906
    Students from Baylor Baptist Student Ministries dress Judge Baylor as Santa Claus for photos as a fundraiser. Proceeds will be used for summer missions.
    Donald Meyerson / Baylor Photography
Dec. 4, 2002

by Lori Scott Fogleman

The Baylor University campus will be transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with thousands of bright lights, hot chocolate and wassail, Christmas carolers and other holiday traditions, during the "Christmas on Fifth Street" celebration on Thursday, Dec. 5.

"This is Baylor's gift to the community, showing that we can enjoy the rolls of shiny wrapping paper and Santa Claus without losing sight of the true meaning of this season, which is celebrating Christ's birth," said Becki Majors, coordinator of student union programs.

This year, more than 12,000 lights will be added to Baylor's Burleson Quadrangle and SUB Bowl. The spires of Old Main also will be lighted in holiday fashion, thanks to sponsors Waco Construction Inc. and McCarthy Building Cos. Inc.

"Christmas on Fifth Street" will begin at 10 a.m. with the Holiday Arts Fair on the first floor of the Bill Daniel Student Center. Booths by individual vendors will showcase unique crafts, including wooden decorations, jewelry, ornaments, wreaths, photographs, pottery and many other gifts for holiday shoppers. Baylor students also can make wax hands from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 5 to 7 p.m.

Several events will be held from 7 to 10 p.m., including a Christmas carnival for children that will take place from 7 to 8:15 p.m. in the SUB Bowl. Children can take photos with Santa, enjoy treats, decorate ornaments, participate in "reindeer games" and have their faces painted. The BSM Players, a theatrical performance group from Baptist Student Ministries, will present a live nativity scene in Burleson Quadrangle featuring the miracle of Christ's birth. Live animals will be provided by the Texas Camel Corps. As several Baylor student choirs stroll Fifth Street, families can enjoy hot chocolate, wassail, treats made by Baylor faculty, staff and students, kettle korn, and horse and carriage rides provided by Sweet Dreams Carriage Services of Marlin.

From 7:30 p.m. to 8:15 p.m., April Geesbreght, a senior from Fort Worth, and the Kappa Pickers will take the stage at Burleson Quadrangle to serenade crowds.

Then at 8:15 p.m., the Baylor family and members of the Waco community are invited to the annual Kappa Omega Tau Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, a university tradition for many years. A live, 50-foot Douglas fir, decorated with more than 2,000 white lights, will brighten Burleson Quadrangle after the reading of the Christmas story by Dr. Robert G. Packard, emeritus professor of physics, and a Christmas blessing by Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr. Following the lighting ceremony, Christian recording artists Forty Days and Chris Rice will perform from 8:15 to 10 p.m. People are encouraged to bring lawn chairs for the concerts.

"Christmas on Fifth Street" is free and open to the public. In case of rain, all events will be moved to the Bill Daniel Student Center and Marrs McLean gymnasium. The event is sponsored by The Place 2 BU and the Student Congress, on behalf of the Student Life Fund.

For more information, call the office of student union programs at 710-3211.

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