By Ben Woolley | Reporter
Christmas lights have returned to Burleson Quad as Christmas on Fifth Street will finally commence at 5:30 p.m. tonight. Among all of the events, Kappa Omega Tau will hold its annual Christmas tree lighting, which is one of the longest-lasting Christmas traditions on campus.
“Nothing gets me more ‘lit’ for Christmas than the tree lighting and Christmas on 5th,” Woodlands sophomore Connor Weaverling said.
In its 51st year, the KOT Christmas Tree Lighting will have a 34-and-a-half foot tree decorated top to bottom in lights and ornaments.
The tree was reserved in June as the second largest tree on the farm by KOT member Price Peters. The tree came in on a three-day shipment from Maryland.
“The preparation for this event is a lot of work, especially considering it only lasts three hours. We are named chairs in April and have dozens of meetings and hundreds of calls before we actually even see the tree,” said Austin junior Joey Phillips, a KOT Christmas tree lighting chair. “As hard as it is, it’s a great feeling knowing we have an opportunity to help so many people through a simple event.”
This year, all the proceeds from the event will be donated to two charities, The Last Well and The Jubilee Food Market.
The goal of The Last Well is to make clean water available to every person in Liberia. The charity is partnered with several organizations both in Africa and in the United States to maximize their reach.
Every $3,000 donated produces another well and another community with access to clean drinking water. KOT has a $30,000 goal for this organization.
The Jubilee Food Market is part of Mission Waco and is a nonprofit serving an underprivileged area that was without a grocery store within walking distance. These people eat mostly food from gas stations, which is detrimental to their health and overall well-being. The project has already received almost two-thirds of their $450,000 dollar goal.
Proceeds from T-shirts and tickets sales from Christmas on Fifth will go directly to the two charities. T-shirts will be $15. The Comfort Colored T-shirts will be $15 and will be sold near the tree and at the concert in Waco Hall during Christmas on Fifth.
“I love that this event brings the entire Baylor community together,” said Nashville, Tenn. junior Corey Fawcett, who is a KOT member. “To see so many people gather to celebrate the season and the birth of Jesus Christ is a really special thing and is something that only happens at a place like Baylor.”
The tree lighting will begin at 8:15 p.m. at the Burleson Quadrangle. There will be a concert to follow featuring Texas country artists Cory Morrow and Prophets and Outlaws beginning at 9 p.m. and ending at 11:15 p.m. in Waco Hall.
Tickets for the concert can be bought at the Bill Daniel Student Building ticket office, at Waco Hall during the event or online. Tickets to the concert are free for students.