Holiday activities will abound in Baldwin
If Friday's annual shopping spree didn't clue anybody in enough, this weekend's activities in Baldwin City will make it official: Christmas time is here.
The main attractions will be taking place in and around downtown Sunday afternoon and evening.
Baker University will be hosting its 75th annual Christmas Candlelight Vespers at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the United Methodist Church, Eighth and Grove streets. Each program is scheduled to last just over one hour.
"It's wonderful, because the literature is mostly repeated," said John Buehler, Baker University department of music chair. "The fun part of working on the music, is those students who have done it in past years, see each piece a little deeper. The students who are new to it each year see each piece as potential, but not as deep as the other students."
The event will feature ensembles and performances by Baker's music department. The choirs and orchestra will be playing traditional Christmas carols along with other holiday songs.
"Most of this year's Vesper's will be the same pieces that we've done over the last three or four years," Buehler said. "We take out this piece and that piece and put in two others. Then the next year we take out those two and put in two others. It's not the same year after year, but often there are interchangeable parts."
Admission to the event is free and the community is welcome to attend.
"Like the other performances we do, it is open to the community and they are encouraged to attend and be a part of it," Buehler said. "I expect there is a big part of the community that doesn't know it is for them also."
Attendees of the Vespers program at 4 p.m. can stay downtown to catch the annual Light Parade and Christmas tree lighting ceremonies.
The parade will begin at 6 p.m. at the corner of Eighth and Chapel streets and will head south down Eighth Street to High Street.
Peach Madl, parade coordinator, said she is ready for the parade to see what participants will create this year.
"We're ready and we are calling on everyone to get their floats ready," Madl said. "What makes this parade special is everything has to be lit with lights. Anyone wanting to have fun should join in."
The parade's Grand Marshal will be Johnny Rowlands, a 1973 Baker University alumnus and the newschoppper pilot for KMBC-TV in Kansas City, Mo.
Rowlands was contacted by Diane Niehoff, co-chair of the Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce's Convention and Business Bureau, about being the Grand Marshal.
Madl said some of the businesses have begun competing with each other for the best float.
"It's a very fun thing to do," Madl said. "This year A&H Heating and Cooling thinks they can beat The Lodge for the best float, but they are a bunch of girls."
After the parade finishes, the Baldwin City Recreation Commission will have its lighting for the city Christmas tree in front of the Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce office. Once, again, Santa Claus, the last float of the parade, will do the tree-lighting honors.
Also after the parade, many local businesses will be opening their doors to customers, while serving cookies and hot chocolate. A list of those businesses can be found at the chamber of commerce office.
The Baldwin Community Arts Council will also be conducting its annual Art Sale in the Lumberyard. Hours are from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Along with a variety of art for sale, there will also be activities for children to participate in, including making their own Christmas ornaments.
Also on Sunday will be the Ives Chapel Nativity Scene display. It will begin at 4 p.m. at Stacy's Dance Studio, located on the northwest corner of Eighth and High Streets.
Madl said the entire evening is a great way to start the holiday season.
"It's a wonderful thing to bring in the season," Madl said. "It's a nice kick off to the Christmas season."
On Saturday, the BCRC will be hosting its Breakfast with Santa at The Lodge at 10 a.m., for all ages. The price is $5 and each child will have the opportunity to sit on Santa's lap, have breakfast and receive a picture to document the occasion. Children are asked to register at the BCRC office or call 594-3670.
Children may also have their picture taken with Santa Clause from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Santa Fe Market.
Another holiday activity coming soon is the German Christmas Festival at the Clearfield United Methodist Church Dec. 10.
The festival begins at 4 p.m. with the German dinner, which includes bratwurst, homemade potato salad, sauerkraut and German breads and desserts. The dinner will be free will donation.
There will also be music and several tree lighting ceremonies throughout the evening. The last music performance begins at 7:30 p.m. There will also be a craft bazaar and bake sale starting at 4 p.m.
The church is located four miles north of U.S. Highway 56 on Douglas County Road 1061.