By Trey Gregory
Baylor’s campus will be full of Christmas cheer Thursday at the annual celebration of Christmas on Fifth Street, starting at 6 p.m. at Fountain Mall, Burleson Quadrangle, Traditions Plaza and the Bill Daniel Student Center.
The event will have entertainment for the whole family, such as a petting zoo, pictures with Santa, carriage rides, family portraits, a live nativity and “Elf,” a Christmas movie, showing on the lawn.
The 2013 Christmas on Fifth is a collaborative effort by the Baylor Activities Council, Department of Student Activities, Kappa Omega Tau Fraternity, Baylor Religious Hour Choir and the Multicultural Greek Council.
Lamar Bryant, associate director of Student Activities, said they added banners to the light poles and an archway decorated with Christmas lights on Fifth Street to create a more vibrant Christmas environment.
“The archway is decorated with two toy soldiers dressed in green and gold uniforms and is located by the SUB,” Bryant said.
Other events will include a Christmas tree lighting at 9:15 p.m. on Burleson Quadrangle, carols, musical performances and a marketplace open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The Christmas marketplace is located on the third floor of the Bill Daniel Student Center. Bryant said Baylor students and anyone from the Waco community can come to the marketplace and purchase gifts from local vendors.
Bryant said anyone from the community or Baylor is welcome to attend the events. Free hot chocolate and snacks will be provided and food can be purchased from the SUB and local food trucks.
Parking will be available at the Mayborn Museum Complex and Baylor buses will run from the museum to Fifth Street every 20 minutes starting at 6 p.m. and ending at 9 p.m.
The Mayborn Museum Complex will also present a special sneak peak of its All Aboard the Mayborn Express exhibit from 5–9 p.m. The Mayborn Express is a model train exhibit with five scales of trains that fill a 5,000-square-foot room.
“If you need a place to park, come to the museum early, see the All Aboard the Mayborn Express exhibit at 5 o’clock and then head over to Christmas on Fifth street on the buses provided at 6 o’clock,” said Rebecca Tucker-Mall, changing exhibits manager.
Tucker said there will be a 25-foot Christmas tree in the museum’s rotunda and a Christmas display table in the Mayborn Express exhibit.
“This exhibit is very family friendly,” Tucker said. “We hope a lot of people will come and enjoy it.”
Although this is the seventh year of the Mayborn Express exhibit, Tucker said there will be new scenery and larger layouts.
“One exhibit has Godzilla,” Tucker said. “Another has a circus where some animals escaped and frosty the snowman in a telephone booth. It’s fun to see what little details you can pick out.”
The Mayborn Express exhibit will officially open Saturday and close Jan. 5. Regular admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and $4 for children.
“The great thing is that there is a lot of moving parts that all add to the Christmas on Fifth experience,” Bryant said.
One of those moving parts is the fourth annual Advent service conducted by Dr. Burt Burleson, university chaplain.
Two services, each 45 minutes long, they will be held at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the Armstrong Browning Library.
The service will include music written especially for Baylor, prayers and a short sermon by Burleson.
Burleson said the Armstrong Browning Library is a perfect location for the Advent service. He said the service should be a beautiful, reverent and quiet experience.
“There’s a special reverence in the library,” Burleson said. “The service is very fitting for the space.”
He said the Advent service will mostly consist of music written by himself and Carlos Colon, Baylor’s coordinator of worship initiatives.
“We wrote these pieces to encourage the observance of the Advent season, which encourages us to prepare for the coming of Christ,” Burleson said. “Most folks rush too quickly to Bethlehem and by doing so may miss a very important part of the story.”
More information about Christmas on Fifth can be found at www.baylor.edu/studentactivities.