Christmas activities around Waco celebrate sound, light

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Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2013 12:01 am

Last week’s Waco Wonderland, Christmas at Baylor and assorted holiday concerts haven’t exhausted the Christmas calendar in Waco.

On tap for this weekend are family activities that recall earlier Christmases, a heart-warming play staged as radio drama and a celebration of light as seen in candlelight and stained glass.

n “Christmas in the Village,” noon-4 p.m. Saturday,Gov. Bill and Vara Daniel Historic Village, Mayborn Museum, 1300 S. University Parks Drive; museum admission of $6-$4.

Get a taste of what an 1890s Texas rural Christmas might have been like at the Mayborn Museum’s Christmas in the Village festival. The afternoon event features a variety of activities in each of the village’s buildings: Christmas craft-making, stocking stuffers in the village store, storytelling in the schoolhouse, caroling in the church and the like. Hot apple cider and kettlecorn also will be available

Santa Claus will visit the planters’ house from 1 to 3 p.m. and families can take pictures — an exception to the traditions of 1890s Christmases.

Event admission is $6, $5 for senior adults, $4 for children 18 months to 12 years old, and includes admission to the museum, where the annual Mayborn Express, a large model train exhibit mounted every Christmas season, is up and running.

n “It’s a Wonderful Life,” Brazos Theatre Group, 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Woolworth Building, 605 Austin Ave.; $20 and $15, $35 VIP tickets, $2 discount for senior adults and military personnel.

The players of the Brazos Theatre Group get into the holiday mood with something different from the murder mysteries and improv comedy they’ve staged this year: a radio play.

Joe Landry’s adaptation of the film classic “It’s a Wonderful Life,” complete with sound effects, will go live — well, in person and not as a broadcast — Friday and Saturday in a new venue for the troupe, the Woolworth Building on Austin Avenue.

Steve Fallon, executive director of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame and son of the late Frank Fallon, one of Waco’s best-known broadcast voices, will narrate the show.

A nine-person cast will play all the characters, with Brandon Thomasy as George Bailey and Kara Beth Schilling as George’s wife Mary, while Natalie Burt and Amber Shae will create the sound effects.

The radio play has been performed in the past at the Waco Civic Theatre and the Waco Hippodrome, said BTG director Beth Richards, admitting its dependence on actors, script and audience imagination makes it a favorite for small theaters without many resources for costuming and sets.

Waco singer Holly Tucker, a semifinalist on NBC’s vocal competition “The Voice,” and her family will perform post-show holiday entertainment both nights.

n Christmas on the Brazos Candlelight Tour and Reception, 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Fort House, 503 S. Fourth St. and Lee Lockwood Library and Museum, 2801 W. Waco Drive; $40 a person, available at the door or online at www.eventbrite.com.

Christmas on the Brazos, the annual tour of Historic Waco Foundation’s homes decorated for the holidays, offers a Candlelight Tour of the Fort House, this year’s Designer Showcase.

After the tour, there’s a reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres, drinks and live music from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. at the Lee Lockwood Library and Museum, 2801 W. Waco Drive, where “In Company With Angels,” an exhibit of stained-glass windows designed by the Louis Tiffany Studio on the theme of the seven angels mentioned in the New Testament’s Book of Revelation.

n Stained Glass Illumination Tour of Waco, various locations, 2-5 p.m. Sunday; $10 admission to the “In Company With Angels” exhibit.

Another “In Company With Angels” activity provides a look at Waco churches and libraries with notable stained-glass windows. On the self-guided tour are St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 515 Columbus Ave.; Austin Avenue United Methodist Church, 1300 Austin Ave.; First Presbyterian Church, 1100 Austin Ave.; St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church, 1401 Washington Ave.; First Lutheran Church, 1007 Jefferson Ave.; Central Christian Church, 4901 Lakeshore Drive; St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, 305 N. 30th St.; Baylor University’s Armstrong Browning Library; and the Lee Lockwood Library and Museum, 2801 W. Waco Drive.

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