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Riverside, Calif. (Dec. 8, 2014) -- Students, faculty and staff took a break from end-of-the-semester projects Dec. 4 to celebrate California Baptist University's annual Christmas Party on the Front Lawn.

The event, organized by Associated Students of California Baptist University (ASCBU), kicked off with a speech by CBU President Ronald L. Ellis who read from Luke 2, which tells about the birth of Jesus. Ellis concluded his speech saying, "This is a special time to remember the birth of Christ." He then led a countdown that ended with the lighting of the Christmas tree on the front lawn.  

The event, attended by more than 2,000 people, featured food stands, arcade games, jumpers, carolers and areas with snow for sledding. Attendees roamed from activity to activity sipping on eggnog and hot chocolate, served at the party.

"The party is great. There are a lot of people here and it looks like everybody is having fun," said Austin Ng, a sophomore civil engineering major. "I love that our school takes the effort to put on these events. ASCBU always does a great job."

"ASCBU has been planning this event since mid-August. It is one of our biggest events, and it is great when it all comes together," said Trent Ward, ASCBU president. "It grows every year." 

High school students who were on campus for the 24 at CBU program to learn about the university also attended the party. Raymond Velasquez, a senior at La Sierra High School in Riverside, was one of them.

"The party is great. I didn't expect it to be so amazing. It's like Disneyland out here, I love it," Velasquez said. "CBU seems like more than just a school, it's a community. This party made me love the school even more, and I am very much looking forward to coming here next year."