Calendar fills up with area events for the 2012 holiday season
Published: Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, November 30, 2012 at 5:26 p.m.
The holiday mecca that is December has arrived, and that means the calendar is full of events for art, music, dance and holiday light lovers.
Some events focus on the religious aspect of Christmas; others offer the joys of the more secular traits of the holidays like lights and gift giving.
Churches, local stores, Santa Fe College, the University of Florida and others have come up with events to celebrate the holiday season. Here are some highlights:
HOLIDAY TREE LIGHTING: Annual Tree Lighting at The Historic Thomas Center with caroling and holiday music from local artists, 6-8 p.m. today, Thomas Center Spanish Court, 302 NE Sixth Ave. Free. (393-2787)
JINGLE BELL CHOIR: Traditional jingle bell choir, open to participation, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. today, Oaks Mall, 6419 W. Newberry Road. Free. (331-0040)
A CHILDREN'S HOLIDAY AT SANTA FE: A children's holiday sampler show with dance performances, music excerpts from "The Nutcracker" and holiday crafts for children after the show, 2 p.m. today, Santa Fe College's Fine Arts Hall, Northwest Campus, 3000 NW 83rd St., $10 for adult tickets, children younger than 12 are free. Buy tickets online at www.vendini.com or call the box office, 395-4181.
GAINESVILLE YOUTH CHORUS HOLIDAY CONCERT: Annual holiday concert for the community, 5-6 p.m. today, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 100 NE First St. Free. (256-3057)
MELROSE ART EVENTS: Dance to live music by Gonzo Gator Band, 8-11 p.m. today, Gallery 26, 301 State Road 26, Melrose, $10 for tickets.
HOLIDAY HANDMADE WORKSHOPS: Classes to create holiday ornaments and cards, three class times available today, —10 a.m.-noon, 1-3 p.m. or 3-5 p.m. — Doris Bardon Community Cultural Center, 716 N. Main St. Cost: $30 plus $5 materials fee. (505-5062)
HOMESTEAD HOLIDAYS AT THE HISTORIC HAILE HOMESTEAD: Violin students will play as visitors tour the decorated homestead house, noon-4 p.m. Sunday, Haile Homestead, 8500 SW Archer Road. Free.
SOUNDS OF THE SEASON 2012: Concert titled "A Caroler's Gift" features more than 300 performers including singers from the UF Concert Choir, UF Women's Chorale, UF Men's Glee Club and the Gainesville Civic Chorus, directed by Will Kesling, 7 p.m. Sunday, Phillips Center, 315 Hull Road. Free tickets will be distributed beginning one hour before the concert. (397-2787)
PLAZA ICE PALACE: Seasonal ice skating rink returns to downtown Gainesville beginning Monday, 4-10 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Jan. 13, Bo Diddley Community Plaza, 111 E. University Ave. No charge Monday through Wednesday, this week only. After Dec. 5, cost is $10 with skate rental, $7 without skate rental. (334-8746)
MELROSE ART EVENTS/MONDAY MUSICALE: Enjoy music by the band "Old Friends" while socializing and sharing a potluck dinner, 6-8 p.m. Monday, Gallery 26, 301 State Road 26, Melrose. Free.
"WHAT WOULD JESUS BUY": Morgan Spurlock's documentary examines the commercialization of Christmas in America and follows Reverend Billy and his Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir on a cross-country mission to save Christmas from the Shopocalypse, 7 p.m. Monday, Civic Media Center, 433 S. Main St. Cost: $3-$5 suggested donation. (373-0010)
CHRISTMAS WITH THE ANNIE MOSES BAND CONCERT: Blend of fiddle, jazz and classical influences fused with soaring, folk-inspired vocals, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Trinity United Methodist Church, 4000 NW 53rd Ave. $8. (376-6615)
POINSETTIA SHOW AND SALE: More than 4,000 plants, including traditional red and white poinsettias and hybrid plants like bright pink poinsettias, grown by UF students will be sold by the UF Student Group and environmental horticultural department, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday and 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday, UF Horticulture Greenhouse Complex. Most plants cost $10-$40.
THE GAINESVILLE BRASS QUINTET: Seasonal concert by members of the Gainesville Chamber Orchestra, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Thomas Center for the Arts, 302 NE Sixth Ave., Gainesville. Cost: $20, $15 students and seniors. (336-5448)
"BLACK NATIVITY": Gospel-song play is a retelling of the birth of Christ using dialogue, narrative, pantomime, gospel music and folk spirituals, 8 p.m. Thursday through Dec. 8, and 3 p.m. Dec. 9, The Actors Warehouse, 608 N. Main St. Tickets: $15. (222-3699)
ARTWALK: Free monthly self-guided tour that combines visual arts, live performances and events in downtown Gainesville, for participating galleries see individual listings under Art and Alternative Art, 7-10 p.m. Friday , The Lunch Box, 104 SE First Ave. Free. (393-7520)
MELROSE ART EVENTS/ART WALK: Five galleries — including Bellamy Road, Gallery 26, Melrose Bay Art Gallery and ShakeRag — take part in Art Walk, and a Christmas exhibit opens at the Bellamy Road Gallery featuring a local artist's small-size work, 6-9 p.m. Friday. Free.
CANDLELIGHT VISITS AT THE HISTORIC HAILE HOMESTEAD: Tour the decorated house lit by simulated candlelight and soft lights and listen to violin students perform during one of the few times the house is open at night, 6-9 p.m. Friday, Haile Homestead, 8500 SW Archer Road, $10 for adults, children younger than 12 are free, advance tickets sold at the Homestead Holidays for $7.
"CHRISTMAS BELLES": Christmas comedy set in Fayro, Texas, featuring squabbling sisters, a surly Santa and reluctant Elvis impersonator, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 16, High Springs Community Theater, 130 NE First Ave., High Springs. Tickets: $11 adults, $9 children and seniors. (386-454-3525)
CINDERELLA: Danscompany of Gainesville's annual production of "Cinderella," Dec. 8 at the Phillips Center, with performance by the internationally renowned dancer Jose Acevedo as the prince. 1:30 and 7 p.m. Admission is $12, free for children younger than 10.
26TH ANNUAL WINTER SOLSTICE CELEBRATION: Veterans for Peace host event with music by John Chambers, Lauren Robinson, The Relics and others, 8 p.m. Dec. 8, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 4225 NW 34th St. Cost $10-$30, bring food and clothing to donate to Helping Hands Clinic. (vfpgainesville.org)
WINTER GIFT FAIR: Third annual gathering of local artisans for holiday gift ideas and more, 2-5 p.m. Dec. 8, The Jones B-Side, 203 SW Second Ave. (374-8561)
WALK TO BETHLEHEM: Walk-through of Christmas lights, blow ups and decorated Christmas trees, sleigh rides with Santa Claus, games for children, fictitious walk from Nazareth to Bethlehem and more, 7-9 p.m. Dec. 9-23, 4551 SE State Road 121. Free.
HOLIDAY TRADITIONS — A MUSICAL CELEBRATION: Sixteenth annual event presented by Stop Children's Cancer features the Alachua County Youth Orchestra, Villages High School Concert Choir, Santa Fe High School Concert Choir, P.K. Yonge Concert Chorus and Women's Ensemble, Gainesville Youth Chorus and Concertina Choir, directed by Gary Langford, 4 p.m. Dec. 9, Phillips Center, 315 Hull Road. Tickets: $12, $6 ages 11 and younger; VIP reception is $30. (392-2787, Ticketmaster.com),
ALACHUA COUNTY YOUTH ORCHESTRA WINTER CONCERT: Middle and high school students perform Richard Strauss' "Allerseelen," Johannes Brahms' "First Symphony" and holiday favorites, including "Jingle Bells," conducted by Gary Langford, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9, Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, 315 Hull Road. Free.
MELROSE ART EVENTS/A SHAKE RAG FAMILY: Children's Christmas puppet show followed by pictures with Santa Claus, puppet show, 1 p.m. Dec. 15, Santa Claus pictures 2-5 p.m., Interlachen Church. Free.
HOLIDAY HARMONIES: The Gainesville Harmony Show Chorus and The Gainesville Barbergators perform a Christmas program, 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 15, Fine Arts Hall, Santa Fe College, 3000 NW 83rd St. Tickets: $15. (395-4181, www.gainesvillechorus.com)
THE LOCO BIZZARE: Dragonfly Graphics showcases its T-shirt designs featuring local businesses and restaurants, about 40 local vendors sell their products and seven bands play to help Gainesville residents find unusual gifts and keep their holiday money local, noon-9 p.m. Dec. 23, Dragonfly Graphics, 319 SW Third Ave. Free.
"A TUNA CHRISTMAS": Annual comedic play set in Tuna, Texas, 7:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 23, Hippodrome Theatre, 25 SE Second Place. Tickets: $30-$35, $25 senior citizens, $15 students; children get in free with a paying adult and donation of nonperishable food item or unwrapped new toy through Tuesday. (375-4477, www.thehipp.org)
"A CHRISTMAS CAROL": 35th annual production of the Christmas classic, 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2 and 4 p.m. Saturdays through Dec. 22, Hippodrome Theatre, 25 SE Second Place. Tickets: $30-$35, $25 senior citizens, $15 students; children get in free with a paying adult and donation of nonperishable food item or unwrapped new toy through Tuesday. (375-4477, www.thehipp.org)
"WHITE CHRISTMAS": Family musical featuring popular Irving Berlin songs, 8 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 23, Vam York Theater, 4039 NW 16th Blvd. Seating is limited. Tickets: $16; students and children $10. (376-4949)
SANTA PORTRAITS: The North Pole is open for pictures with Santa Claus and Rudolph, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, noon-6 p.m. Sundays, through Dec. 24, Oaks Mall, 6419 W. Newberry Road. Prices vary. (331-0040)
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