Virtual Dia takes place of in-person festivities

Baylor sets up the DIA letters to commemorate Baylor's lost holiday due to COVID-19. Peter Enoch | Multimedia Photographer

By Vivian Roach | Staff Writer

Though Dia will be spent on the couch this year, a dog show, interactive games, prizes and a concert by contemporary Christian musician Phil Wickham will happen live through the Dia Del Oso social media pages.

Kelsi Kilgore, general assistant of Dia for Baylor Chamber of Commerce, said the planning process of Dia essentially started over to create a virtual Dia.

“However, we soon came up with a plan to bring Dia to students wherever they were in quarantine by moving it to an online format,” Kilgore said. “This was such an interesting transition because we basically had to start over, planning the event from scratch with only a few weeks left before Dia. Not to mention this was the first time in 88 years that Dia would be celebrated virtually rather than in person.”

The day will start at 9 a.m. CDT with an at-home fun run/walk with family, followed by a virtual video game tournament of Super Smash Brothers between 64 prospective Baylor students and 64 current students.

Dia Del Oso chairman, Corban Sorrells said the video game tournament was added within the last week.

“We were trying to think of engaging things we could do online because we hadn’t really considered it before the pandemic, but now with it online we figured something like that might go well,” Sorrells said. “Some of the big television networks, like ESPN are doing a lot of video game oriented activities to keep people watching.”

Baylor First Gent Brad Livingstone and the Livingstone’s dog Bu, will continue to put on the dog show virtually.

The dog show was an activity from the original schedule that was able to make the transition. Submissions will be judges based on who is the cutest, most talented and most Baylor spirited dog.

Further into the night, a scavenger hunt will be released on social media. The first 10 people to finish and direct message Dia Del Oso on social media will be sent a Waco party pack. It is complete with favorites like, Dr Pepper museum merchandise, Magnolia Table products and Common Grounds coffee.

All proceeds from these sales will benefit the President’s Excellence Fund for students in-need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To close out the night, contemporary Christian musician Phil Wickham will be performing from his home in San Diego on a livestream at 7 p.m. CDT, the livestream link will be available on the Dia Del Oso Instagram page. Wickham will also be answer direct messages during his performance from those sent through the Dia Instagram.

Sorrells said it is unlikely there will be any make-up Dia this upcoming fall semester.

“My guess is that we will do this virtual Dia to help everyone get through these times and pick back up next year. The Baylor chamber of commerce is in charge of five or six of the biggest events during the year,” Sorrells said. “The fall is our busy season because we have Baylor kick-off weekend, parents week-end and homecoming, along with the Baylor line duties and Baylor bear program duties. So having Dia Del Oso is unrealistic from the chamber perspective. But, that being said if student activities asked us to do it we will make it happen, but right now it’s pretty unlikely.”

He said is grateful to bring smiles to the faces of students and alumni alike. “People need good positive content in their lives right now, when they’re dealing with all this craziness,” Sorrells said.

Sorrells said he suggests the best way to take advantage of Dia this year is by following along on the Dia Del Oso Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts throughout the day on Tuesday.