Archive for Thursday, November 30, 2006

Christmas time to come calling Sunday

November 30, 2006

With temperatures dropping and the first snowfall already here, Christmas time is nearing.

Baldwin City holiday activities will start in full force Sunday, beginning with Baker University's 76th annual Christmas Candlelight Vespers.

"It really does start the Christmas season for a lot of folks," said John Buehler, Baker University department of music chair. "It really is, because it is so tied to the holiday and because there is such great music that accompanies this holiday."

Sunday will play host to several Christmas celebrations in downtown Baldwin, including the annual Light Parade and the Baldwin Community Arts Council holiday art sale.

The first event of the weekend will be the vespers concert. It will begin at 4 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, Eighth and Grove streets.

A second showing of the concert will start at 7:30 p.m. for those that can't attend the earlier show.

"It's given for the community and the college community as well," Buehler said. "Generally the 4 o'clock performance is standing room, so folks want to get there plenty early to get a seat if that's the one they want to come to. There are a few more seats available at the 7:30 performance. The First United Methodist Women will serve a reception after each of them."

Each performance should last approximately one hour, but might run a few minutes over, according to Buehler.

This year's music will be similar to previous concerts, but with a few changes that occur each year.

"Generally, the format will be the same as it's been in recent past," Buehler said. "Every year, I think there are pieces that the audience comes expecting to hear and we won't disappoint them. We also change out some pieces for different ones every year, so that it's not the same year after year."

He even said the Baker students are learning many of the songs for the first time.

"We've been rehearsing since the inauguration (of new Baker President Pat Long), because for a large number of the students the music is brand new," Buehler said. "The only kids who know some of the music are the ones who have been here year after year after year. We've changed pieces in and out enough, that there are new pieces for everybody. We will be ready Sunday."

Also running Sunday afternoon will be the BCAC's Holiday Arts Sale, which begins at 1 p.m. and ends at 6 p.m. It will be held at the Lumberyard Arts Center both Saturday and Sunday.

The LACP will be serving cookies and hot cocoa during the Light Parade and Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

The annual Light Parade will begin at 6 p.m. from the corner of Eighth and Chapel streets. It will then head south down Eighth Street, go east on High Street, north on Sixth Street and west on Chapel Street.

Stacy's Dance Studio will be performing before the parade starts. The performance will be held at the corner of Eighth and High streets.

As of last week, Baldwin City Recreation Commission director Monte Ezell said the parade only had around nine or 10 entries. On Tuesday, Ezell said they have received a few more entries, but are hoping more show up Sunday.

"I wouldn't be surprised if we had all kinds for sure, if the weather was going to be like this," Ezell said. "We'll see what Saturday and Sunday brings. It looks like it's going to be clear and not raining."

After the parade, Santa Claus will be lighting the Christmas tree located in front of the Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce office. Then, Santa will be seated near the tree to take photos with children. The BCRC will also have a scavenger hunt for this year's festivities. (See related story)

"This is a good event for the community," said Sandy Cardens, who is leading the LACP effort. "I hope the weather cooperates and it's not freezing. I hope it's a nice and crisp night, which is just what it should be."

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