By Julia Eckardt
For any student seeking a one-night distraction from the impending doom that is finals week, Baylor’s 49th annual Christmas on Fifth Street will begin at 6 p.m. today at various campus locations.
The massive celebration is open to the entire Baylor and Waco community. It will sprawl across the center of campus on Fountain Mall, Burleson Quadrangle, Traditions Plaza and in the Bill Daniel Student Center.
Christmas on Fifth features opportunities for the whole family to enjoy, including a petting zoo, the Christmas tree lighting, live music, caroling and a Christmas marketplace that will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on the third floor of the SUB.
This year, the musical acts booked to preform in Waco Hall are Johnnyswim and The Lone Bellow. Both groups have been featured on the Billboard Top 100. The doors open at 8 p.m. and the show will start at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for students and $15 for general admission and can be purchased at www.baylor.edu/studentactivities.
Jacksonville, Fla., senior Sydney King said she, like countless other Baylor students, looks forward to the event every year.
“I can’t think of a more fitting way to demonstrate the strength of the Baylor community,” King said. “Everywhere you look there are people who are just happy to be out there together, even when it’s really cold.”
The Baylor Activities Council, the Department of Student Activities, Kappa Omega Tau fraternity, Baylor Religious Hour Choir and the Multicultural Greek Council worked together to orchestrate the event.
The Kappa Omega Tau fraternity provides the Christmas tree in Burleson Quadrangle every year and books the two bands that play after the lighting ceremony.
Abilene junior Marcus Wiley, Christmas tree chairman for the fraternity, said he and the other chairmen began preparation in May to find the tree and artists.
The tree selected this year stands 40 feet tall, eight feet taller than last year’s tree.
“To us that’s a big deal,” Wiley said.
All profits generated by Kappa Omega Tau from ticket sales, T-shirt sales and alumni donations will be donated to two charities: Waco K-life and Waco Younglife, local youth outreach programs.
“This is an opportunity not to glorify our name but the name of Jesus Christ,” Wiley said. “Everything that we are doing, selling shirts, filling out forms, setting up stages, making appointments, allows us to bring glory to God.”
Parking space will be available in garages and visitor lots throughout campus. Additional parking can be found at The Mayborn Museum Complex, located on the opposite side of University Parks Drive.