Holiday activities light up Baldwin
The Christmas season has arrived, and there is plenty of holiday things to do in Baldwin starting this weekend.
Santa Claus will be in town both days, visiting children at Vinland Elementary School on Saturday, and joining the city's first night-time parade and other activities on Sunday. The annual Christmas Candlelight Vespers and a holiday play by Baker University students is this weekend as well.
Santa Claus will share breakfast with children and grown-ups at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Vinland Elementary School. Homemade muffins, rolls, milk, juice and coffee are on the menu most of it provided by the Silver Spoon bakery, a new Baldwin business. The cost is $3.50 for ages 8 and over, and $2 for those under 8. No reservations are needed.
Children may also have their picture taken with Santa, and make a holiday frame for their photo. The pictures will be taken from 9:30 to 11 a.m., and may be viewed and purchased at 3 p.m.
"There is no obligation to purchase a picture," said Ivy Fife, an organizer of the event.
The day of activities at Vinland Elementary School is sponsored by the school's Parent Teacher Organization, and is the PTO's fund raiser for the year. Sixty-eight children have signed up for Santa's Workshop, also on Saturday. The registration deadline for the workshop was Monday.
"It is our fund raiser for the year," Fife said. "We used to have a silent auction. We decided to offer a service this year."
Fife said the PTO distributes funds in many ways, including giving money to teachers for things they need in their classrooms.
Lighting the tree
Santa will arrive in downtown Baldwin Sunday evening aboard the Baldwin City Fire Department's antique fire truck. He will be part of a Christmas parade sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce a new holiday addition.
The parade will begin around 5 p.m., starting at Baldwin Elementary School. The parade route runs south on Eighth Street to the downtown area where Santa will light the Christmas tree at Eighth and High streets.
The night-time parade will have several lighted entries, including entries from Heritage Tractor, The Lodge, Three Sisters Inn, the Baker University maintenance department and Ron Nelson. A horse-drawn carriage also is expected.
Following the parade, Santa will listen to the Christmas wishes of children, and the Baldwin Carolers will sing carols around the tree. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served at the Hedges Real Estate office beginning at 5 p.m. during the office's annual open house.
Nearby at the Masonic Lodge, there will be a nativity scene display and cookie and bake sale sponsored by the Ives Chapel United Methodist Women from 4-7 p.m.
The 70th annual Christmas Candlelight Vespers can be enjoyed before and after the parade. Performances are at 4 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the First United Methodist Church.
More than 200 members of Baker University's choirs and orchestras will perform traditional and classical Christmas music. The audience also will be asked to participate in sections of the program.
Pieces to be performed include Ave Maria, The Twelve Days of Christmas, Christmas is a-Comin', Good Christian Men Rejoice and Silent Night.
Admission is free. Refreshments will be served following each performance in the church's Fellowship Hall.
Santa Claus isn't bringing his reindeer to town, but Baker University students will fill the role.
Members of Baker's honorary theater society Alpha Psi Omega will perform "The Eight: Reindeer Monologues" at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday in the Darby-Hope Theatre in Parmenter Hall.
"'The Eight' is the true story of Christmas from the point of view of Santa's reindeer," said senior Russell Taylor, co-director of the one-act play. He plays Donner in the show. "The script is very irreverent, but also very funny that's why the show is intended for mature audiences. It's not a family show."