Get ready for holiday offerings in abundance
Published: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 6:02 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 6:02 p.m.
Correction: The 4th Annual Downtown Santa Crawl will take place Saturday beginning at 7:30 p.m. at Vellos, 115 SE First St., with participants wearing holiday attire and making a donation of a small kid-friendly food item to benefit the Catholic Charities weekend hunger backpack program. Separately, the Pledge Five Foundation will hold its Holiday Lights celebration Friday, 5-10 p.m., in downtown Gainesville on Southeast First Street. More information can be found, and tickets purchased, at http://www.pledge5.org. An earlier version of this listing contained incorrect information.
City employees Tuesday evening began decorating the Historic Thomas Center and its gardens in preparation for Saturday's annual tree lighting in downtown Gainesville. The activity was just the latest sign that the holiday season is upon us, with four more weeks of similar events and attractions ahead.
Here is a wide sampling of some of the many holiday celebrations planned throughout the region through the end of December:
CHRISTMAS TREE VILLAGE: See Santa's workshop, the Sweet Shoppe, a snow scene and more; Santa is available for photos every Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday through Sunday, through Dec. 24, Greathouse Butterfly Farm, 20329 NE State Road 26, Earleton. (475-2088)
POINSETTIA SHOW AND SALE: The largest poinsettia show in the country with more than 5,000 plants in more than 140 varieties for sale at the 18th annual Poinsettia Show and Sale hosted by the University of Florida Environmental Horticulture Department and the Student Club, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Thursday and 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday, greenhouse complex behind Fifield Hall on Hull Road. Watch for signs for the poinsettia and greenhouse parking. Parking restrictions lifted inside the complex for the event. (www.gatorpoinsettia.com)
CYMPLIFESTIVUS: Three-day festival with acoustic performances by Sister Hazel, The Voice winner Javier Colon, Jamie Davis and more, proceeds go to Feed the Children, gates open 5 p.m. Friday, 5 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday. Cymplify, 5402 NW Eighth Ave. Tickets: $10 Friday, $5 Saturday, $3 Sunday; $15 for a three-day pass. (224-5101, Cymcentral.com)
SANTA CRAWL:The 4th Annual Downtown Santa Crawl will take place Saturday beginning at 7:30 p.m. at Vellos, 115 SE First St., with participants wearing holiday attire and making a donation of a small kid-friendly food item to benefit the Catholic Charities weekend hunger backpack program.
PLEDGE FIVE: Pledge Five Foundation will hold its Holiday Lights celebration Friday, 5-10 p.m., in downtown Gainesville on Southeast First Street. More information can be found, and tickets purchased, at http://www.pledge5.org.
POND LIGHTING: Annual celebration, now in its 24th year, will feature 70,000 lights and dozens of symbolic figures surrounding the Duck Pond in front of North Florida Regional Medical Center and performances by the Buchholz Jazz Band, Gainesville Ballet Theater, the Hillel Choir and Yopp! Inc. Children's Choir, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Friday, 6500 Newberry Road.
POLAR EXPRESS HOLIDAY TRAIN SHOW: Photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus for a $5 donation; browse the “Flora and Fauna of Florida Exhibition,” 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Matheson Museum, 513 E. University Ave.
CHRISTMAS JUBILEE JAM CONCERT TOY DRIVE: Live performances, toy drive, living Christmas tree and Santa Claus, 7-9 p.m. Saturday, Trinity United Methodist Church, 4000 NW 53rd Ave.
TREE-LIGHTING CEREMONY: Annual holiday tree-lighting celebration with caroling by the Singers of the Reformation and the Gainesville Harmony Show Chorus, as well as holiday music on the hammered dulcimer and autoharp by Jim and Joyce Lillquist of the Gypsy Guerrilla Band, 6-8 p.m. Saturday, Historic Thomas Center, 302 NE Sixth Ave. Hosted by the City of Gainesville Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs.
2013 CRAFT FESTIVAL: More than 300 artisans and craftsmen showcase handmade crafts for sale, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, O'Connell Center, 250 Gale Lemerand Drive, UF campus. Tickets: $4 general public, $1 UF students, free for children younger than 13.
“A CHILDREN'S HOLIDAY AT SANTA FE”: Dance Theatre Santa Fe performs excerpts from Tchaikovsky's ballet “The Nutcracker,” the SF Singers perform multicultural songs of the season, Theatre Santa Fe hosts Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus and elves to shake things up with their hip-hop moves, hands-on crafts including “Make Your Own Gift Bag,” “Magic Color Scratch Dreidels,” followed by cookies and lemonade, 2 p.m. Saturday, Santa Fe Fine Arts Hall, Northwest Campus, 3000 NW 83rd St. (395-4181)
ADVENT ORGAN CONCERT: Live organ music, 2 p.m. Sunday, the Episcopal Church of the Mediator, 501 Cholokka Blvd., Micanopy. Free. (208-9582)
OPERATION SANTA DELIVERY: Bring your list to Santa and have your photo taken with him, children's activities and games, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Dec. 14., Santa Fe College, north fields at the intersection of Northwest 39th Avenue and 91st Street. Free. (334-1000)
CHAMPAGNE AND SHOPPING: Sip champagne and browse through the Matheson Museum Shop's selection of Florida history books, maps, postcards, T-shirts and Harper's Weekly original wood cuts on Florida; take a photo with Santa and Mrs. Claus for a $5 donation, 1-4 p.m. Dec. 14, Matheson Museum, 513 E. University Ave. Complimentary gift-wrapping. Ten percent discount for Matheson Museum members. Proceeds benefit the Matheson Museum's educational programs. (378-2280)
HAWTHORNE CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL: Arts and crafts, food, entertainment and Christmas parade, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Dec. 14, parade begins at 3 p.m., downtown Hawthorne. Free. (www.hawhtorneflorida.org)
HOLIDAY HOUSE TOUR: Eleven stops on the tour include historic homes, buildings and gardens, also a display of Pearsall family history, craft demonstrations, an organ concert, antiques and collectibles for sale, 1-5 p.m. Dec. 15, Melrose. Hosted by Historic Melrose Inc. Tickets: $8 ($7 for Historic Melrose Inc. members) sold day of tour at the Baldwin Store, corner of State Road 26 and Cypress Street. For information and advance tickets, call 475-3992; evenings, 475-2413. Parking is available at Heritage Park, just east of the Baldwin Store, or along the tour route.
“A TUNA CHRISTMAS”: Season's greetings from Tuna, Texas, where the Lions Club is too liberal and Patsy Cline never dies, 7:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays, Saturdays, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sundays, through Dec. 22, Hippodrome Theatre, 25 SE Second Place. Tickets: $30-$35, $25 for senior citizens, $15 for students; “Tuna” tickets are two for one through Sunday; children are admitted free with a paying adult and a non-perishable food item or unwrapped new toy through Dec. 11. (375-4477, TheHipp.org)
“A CHRISTMAS CAROL”: Heartwarming tale of redemption now in its 37th consecutive year at the Hippodrome, 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2 and 4 p.m. Saturdays, through Dec. 21, Hippodrome Theatre, 25 SE Second Place. Tickets: $30-$35, $25 for senior citizens, $15 for students; children are admitted free with a paying adult and a non-perishable food item or unwrapped new toy through Dec. 11. (375-4477, TheHipp.org)
“SEUSSICAL”: A fantastical musical that brings to life Dr. Seuss characters including Horton the Elephant, The Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz, Lazy Mayzie and Jojo, a little boy with a big imagination, 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, through Dec. 22, Vam York Theatre, 4039 NW 16th Blvd. Tickets: $16, $12 for seniors, students and children. (376-4949, Ticketmaster.com)
“JACOB MARLEY'S CHRISTMAS CAROL”: Tom Mula's funny and fast-paced play recounts Charles Dickens' story from the viewpoint of the ghost of his former business partner, runs 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 22, Acrosstown Repertory Theatre, 619 S. Main St. Tickets: $10. (234-6278 or acrosstown.org)
“THE HOMECOMING”: A young girl recounts a memorable Christmas Eve, based on the book “Spencer's Mountain,” which inspired the TV show “The Waltons,” 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 6-22, High Springs Community Theater, 130 NE First Ave., High Springs. (386-454-3525, highspringscommunitytheater.com)
“CINDERELLA”: Danscompany presents its traditional holiday dance performance, 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 7, Phillips Center, 3201 Hull Road. Tickets: $15, free for ages 9 and younger with unwrapped, new toy or book. (371-0761)
“SLEEPING BEAUTY AND THE SAVING PRINCE”: Doxa Dance Company presents its third annual production of “Sleeping Beauty and the Saving Prince,” a classic tale of unconditional love, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 7, Santa Fe College Fine Arts Hall, 3000 NW 83rd St. Cost: $12. (870-1208)
“BLACK NATIVITY”: Langston Hughes' self-described “gospel song play” features both the original Nativity in verse, music and dance, followed by a second featuring such songs as “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” “We Three Kings,” “Riverside” and others, 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 13-22, Actors' Warehouse, 608 N. Main St. Tickets: $15. (222-3699, www.actorswarehouse.org)
“THE NUTCRACKER”: Dance Alive National Ballet presents annual performances of classic holiday ballet, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20, 2 p.m. Dec. 21-22, Phillips Center, 3201 Hull Road. Tickets: $20-$40, $15 students and children. (392-2787, Ticketmaster.com)
SANTA FE SINGERS: Choral ensembles from the Santa Fe College Vocal Jazz class and Santa Fe's own version of Il Divo perform holiday songs, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5, Fine Arts Hall, Santa Fe College, 3000 NW 83rd St. Tickets: $12-$15, $9 for seniors and children, free for Santa Fe students and staff. (395-4181)
MR. JACK DANIEL'S ORIGINAL SILVER CORNET BAND — HOMETOWN CHRISTMAS: Ensemble re-creating small-town band from Lynchburg, Tenn., performs Christmas show, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6, University Auditorium, 333 Newell Drive. Tickets: $20-$30, $10 for UF students. (392-2787 or ticketmaster.com)
GAINESVILLE POPS!: Musical ensemble performs annual Christmas concert, “The Wonderful Time of the Year,” featuring popular carols and holiday favorites, 4 p.m. Saturday, First United Methodist Church, 419 NE First St. Free. (373-7377)
GAINESVILLE YOUTH CHORUS HOLIDAY CONCERT: Ensemble performs its annual holiday concert featuring a variety of seasonal songs, 5 p.m. Saturday, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 100 NE First St. Free.
MUSICA VERA CONSORT: Ensemble performing on reproductions of early musical instruments performs holiday concert featuring sacred and secular music of Christmas, Hanukkah and Native America, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10, Room 101, UF School of Music (next to University Auditorium), UF Campus. Free.
“HOLIDAY HARMONIES II — BARBERSHOP & OLD TIME RADIO FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON”: The Gainesville Harmony Show Chorus and Barbergators Chorus team up for a showcase of Christmas carols, noels and holiday tunes inspired by 1940s radio themes, 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 14, Performing Arts Center, P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School, 1080 SW 11th St. Tickets: $15. (www.barbergators.com/holidayharmonies2)
STOP CHILDREN'S CANCER — HOLIDAY TRADITIONS: Annual benefit holiday concert featuring youth choral groups including the P.K. Yonge Concert Chorus, Santa Fe High School Concert Choir, Gainesville Youth Chorus and Concertina Choir and the Alachua County Youth Orchestra, directed by Gary Langford, 4 p.m. Dec. 15, Phillips Center, 3201 Hull Road. Tickets: $12 adults, $6 children. (392-2787 or stopchildrenscancer.org/holiday-traditions)
ALACHUA COUNTY YOUTH ORCHESTRA: Ensemble featuring middle and high school students performs winter concert, directed by Gary Langford, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15, Phillips Center, 3201 Hull Road. Free.
FESTIVAL OF NINE LESSONS AND CAROLS: The choirs and congregation of First Presbyterian Church perform annual musical celebration of the Advent season, the Gainesville Brass and First Presbyterian Youth Handbell Choir precedes with seasonal music at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 15 followed by the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at 5 p.m., First Presbyterian Church, 106, SW Third St. Free; an offering will be collected. (378-1527)
DANU — “CHRISTMAS IN IRELAND, AN NOLLAIG IN EIRINN”: Irish ensemble performs Celtic music celebration of the holidays on traditional instruments, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17, Phillips Center, 3201 Hull Road. Tickets: $20-$40, $10 for UF students. (392-2787 or Ticketmaster.com)
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