The students have been paired up, the decorations are unpacked, and Santa’s on standby: it’s time again for Christmas on Campus to light up UD.
More than 1,000 Dayton-area school children are expected at this year’s event, scheduled for Friday, Dec. 7, from 5 to 8 p.m. The 49th annual festivities include a familiar lineup, and all activities are free and open to the public.
A group of two dozen students have spent the last three months on behind-the-scenes preparations. If you have a question about this year’s event, dubbed “To All a Goodnight,” they likely know the answer. Wondering who will stand in as key players in the live Nativity? The role of Mary will be portrayed by Alexis Stern Martina, whose infant son, Robert, will serve as baby Jesus. Curious about the centerpiece Christmas tree’s origins? This year’s 30-foot-tall tannenbaum hails from nearby Kettering.
The opening ceremony, live Nativity, tree lighting and Santa’s arrival are scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in Humanities Plaza, with other activities to follow in the Jesse Philips Humanities Center, Science Center, RecPlex and Kennedy Union.
Santa’s Workshop is located in the Humanities Center and includes: instant messaging with Santa; cookie and gingerbread house decorating; Christmas card, ornament and magnet making; musical chairs; and Popsicle-stick picture frame and paper snowmen crafts. Santa will be available for pictures in the Science Center.
A carnival in RecPlex will feature children’s games, while Kennedy Union is the place for entertainment. Four dance companies, a drill team, the UD pep band and an improv comedy group are all scheduled to perform.
Popular characters like Rudy Flyer, Dora the Explorer and Buzz Lightyear will make appearances, as will a magician. The Flyers men’s basketball team will be signing autographs in Barrett Dining Room on the first floor of Kennedy Union.
The Vigil Mass of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception will be celebrated in the Immaculate Conception Chapel at 9:30 p.m.