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Act Locally Waco - Events April 19 - 25

This week on Act Locally Waco, host Ashley Thornton brings us events this Easter weekend as well as several fundraisers like Wild Torch and the annual Family Health Center Gala. There are also several artistic events to check out - including Historic Waco Foundation Spring Lecture on photographer Fred Gildersleeve and events for National Poetry Month. 

Special Events: 

Easter Brunch

This weekend is Easter Weekend – a holy time for people of the Christian faith.  If you are looking for a place to take the family to brunch on Easter Sunday.  The Hippodrome, in downtown Waco, at the corner 

Ashley Thornton's BU National Champions Easter Bonnet

of Austin and 8th Street, will be open from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. serving pancakes with cinnamon butter, syrup, honey, fresh fruit and pecans, also eggs, bacon, bagels and pastries.  Call the Hippodrome for ticket and reservation information.

Earth Day 

Earth Day is technically Monday, but Cameron Park Zoo is celebrating a bit early.  They will be hosting their “Party for the Planet” tomorrow, April 20.  The event will be a fun filled day of activities, animal presentations, and a day of learning about how we can be stewards of our environment. 

Fundraiser Events: 

Nurse Family Partnership Program

The Baylor Scott and White Nurse Family Partnership Program invites you to the Baylor Club at McLane Stadium from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23, to learn more about this outstanding program that helps first-time moms prepare and supports them during the first several weeks after the baby is born. 

Wild Torch 

Tuesday is also Wild Torch, a fundraising experience benefitting Jesus Said Love, a local non-profit that serves those desiring to transition from the commercial sex industry.

This year Jesus Said Love is throwing a block party on 11th street and bringing LA based hip hop artist and justice advocate… Propaganda!

Churros Time & G&G grill will have food trucks available. Ballet Folklorico, Brett and Emily Mills and Union Revival will also perform. The Wild T orch event will take place at 6 p.m. on 11th street between Milo and the Balcones Distillery. General Admission tickets are $25 and VIP Balcones tickets are $125 if you use the code HOPE when you check out. Tickets and more information are available at 

Feast of Caring 

Caritas of Waco is holding their annual “Feast of Caring” also on Tuesday evening. The event will feature their traditional “Soup Cook Off” with several new restaurants participating along with past favorites – such as last year’s winner – Lula Jane’s!  There will also be large silent auction and fundraising games – it will be a fun night supporting the serious work Caritas does in the community to provide urgent support for those in need.  The Feast of Caring will take place at 6 p.m. the Convention Center - tickets are $35. 

Family Health Center Gala 

On Thursday, April 25, the Family Health Center invites you to “Dine on Purpose” – that’s the theme of their 20th Annual Gala and fundraiser.  The keynote speaker will be distinguished physician Dr. Nancy Dickey, the first woman elected president of the American Medical Association. All proceeds support the Family Health Center’s mission to bring high-quality medical, dental, and behavioral health care to underserved populations in Waco and McLennan County. The Gala will take place at the Baylor Club at 6 p.m. Tickets are $175.  

Arts Events 


Fred Gildersleeve is Waco’s most famous photographer.  Nicknamed “Gildy,” he immortalized the lives and times of Waco at the turn of the 20th century by snapping thousands of photographs of the city spanning over forty years.

Whether you are a long time fan of Gildy’s work or just discovering it, you won’t want to miss this Historic Waco Foundation Spring Lecture on Tuesday.   The Foundation joins the McLennan County Historical Commission to host Geoff Hunt and John Wilson, co-authors of the book "Gildersleeve: Waco's Photographer" as they dive into Gildersleeve’s legacy. After the presentation, there will be a panel discussion with the authors, as well as, Lee Lockwood's archivist Sam Moody.

The Lee Lockwood Library will also have Gildersleeve photographs on display from their own collection. The lecture will take place Tuesday evening at 6:30 PM at the Lee Lockwood Library and Museum at 2801 Waco Dirve.  It is free and open to the public!


April is National Poetry Month! Thursday evening we want to hear your poetry or the poetry you love. It’s poetry open mic night at the East Waco Library. Bring your original work or your favorite work by someone else and get ready to share it. You'll get 5 minutes with the microphone. This is truly an all ages event, so the material should be all-ages appropriate. East Waco Library is located at 901 Elm Avenue.  Poetry open mic night is a free event and it starts at 5 PM. 


On Thursday, Friday and Saturday the McLennan County Hispanic Student’s Association invites you to Cinefest – a free three-day film festival where they will screen a collection of fascinating Spanish Language films including Pan’s Labyrinth and City of God among others.  All funds raised will benefit the scholarship fund.  For a film schedule and other details please visit the MCC Hispanic Student Association Facebook page. 

Property Tax Workshop

Many folks in Waco have experienced an increase in property taxes this year.  If you are one of these folks, you may have some questions. You are invited to a free, 1-hour workshop, to hear from Joe Bobbitt, of the McLennan County Appraisal District. Mr. Bobbitt will help with questions and walk us through the process for contesting property taxes. The workshop will take place on Tuesday evening from 6 to 7 at the Centex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce building at the corner of 9th and LaSalle.