Tyler-area Christmas parades

Several holiday parades are taking place in the Tyler area in the next few days:

■ Rotary Clubs of Tyler Christmas Parade begins at 6 p.m. today on the square and will be followed by the community tree lighting ceremony.

■ Arp will have its Old-Fashioned Christmas Festival from 1 to 7 p.m. Saturday.

■ Winona Christmas Parade is set for 5 p.m. Saturday.

■ Whitehouse Christmas in the Park and Parade will take place on Saturday with events in City Park from noon to 4 p.m. followed by the parade at 5:15 p.m.

■ Lindale Christmas Parade is set for 6 p.m. Saturday.

■ Troup Christmas Parade is set for 6 p.m. Dec. 12.

Longview-area Christmas parades

Christmas arrives in full force this week with parades around the Longview area:

■ Longview Ambucs Christmas Parade is at 6:30 p.m. today in downtown Longview.

■ Marshall’s Lighted Christmas Parade will weave its way through downtown at 6 p.m. Saturday.

■ The Yulefest Christmas Parade starts at 6 p.m. Saturday on Titus Street in Gilmer.

■ Gladewater’s Christmas Parade will celebrate “An Old Fashioned Christmas” at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Downtown Gladewater.

Join in ‘Irish Christmas’ concert

The Longview Greggton Rotary Club is bringing well known Irish singers Keith and Kristyn Getty to Longview in an event that gives audience members an opportunity to join in the concert.

“Sing! An Irish Christmas,” begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday at LeTourneau University’s Belcher Center at 2100 S. Mobberly Ave. Tickets cost $40-$70. The Gettys are known for such songs as the modern hymn “In Christ Alone.” This is their eighth annual tour of “Sing! An Irish Christmas,” which features “their band of virtuosic instrumentalists fusing Celtic, bluegrass, Americana, modern and classical music along with cultural dance and the choral sounds of the holiday,” information about the show says.

“Come sing along with Keith and Kristyn and special guests, for an evening that unites tradition and innovation in a vibrant celebration of the season,” show information says.

Symphony presents ‘Home for Holidays’

Two guest singers, Dana Pundt and Jon Starling, will join the Longview Symphony to come “Home for the Holidays” on Friday at LeTourneau University’s Belcher Center.

The concert begins with opening notes at 6:30 p.m. and pre-concert music at 7 p.m. The concert is at 7:30 p.m., under the direction of Jerry Steichen.

The program includes “A Christmas Festival,” selections from “Messiah,” “The Skaters’ Waltz,” “Sleigh Ride,” White Christmas” and other songs.

A number of other special guests also are expected Friday night, including Santa Claus, performers with ArtsView Children’s Theatre and the Longview Civic Chorus.

Tickets are $20-$50 for adults, $10 for students and $5 for children. For information, visit LongviewSymphony.org or call 903-236-9739.

Longview area christimas parades

Community sings ‘Messiah’

First United Methodist Church of Longview is inviting the community to participate in a performance of Handel’s “Messiah,” with a public performance set for 7 p.m. Sunday.

People who want to participate in the performance may join the rehearsal beforehand at 4:45-6 p.m and should bring their own score if they have one. The performance will consist of Part 1 and the Hallelujah Chorus. Refreshments will be provided at 6 p.m., followed by the performance at 7 p.m.

There is no charge to participate or perform. For information, call (903) 753-4463.

Brass Bash set at Liberty Hall

The East Texas Symphony Orchestra presents the ETSO Brass Quintet and the Rose City Brass Quintet for an evening of holiday hymns, fanfares and sing-alongs.

It is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday at Liberty Hall, 103 E. Erwin St. in Tyler. Refreshments will be available in the lobby beginning at 5 p.m.

Tickets cost $20 for adults, $10 for kids 11 and older and $5 for kids 10 and younger.

This concert is sponsored in part by the Women’s Symphony League of Tyler and Leadership Tyler.

‘The Nutcracker’

The Tyler Junior College Academy of Dance is presenting “The Nutcracker” ballet in performances set for 7 p.m. Friday, 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 and 6 p.m. Sunday at Caldwell Auditorium, 300 S. College Ave. in Tyler.

Admission is $15 to $25 for reserved seating. Main seating is $10 for seniors 65 and older, children 12 and younger and TJC students and employees. Tickets are available at TJC.edu/Nutcracker.

The production features a cast of more than 100 including dancers from the Oklahoma City Ballet in principal roles.

Christmas in the Park in Tyler

The Children’s Park, 110 E. Dobbs in Tyler, will have its Christmas in the Park celebration at 6 p.m. Friday.

The free event will include the singing of Christmas carols and telling stories around the Christmas tree in the park, the serving of soup and s’mores and an opportunity for children to make a craft.

Mistletoe & Magic

Specialty retailers are set to participate in Mistletoe & Magic, the Junior League of Tyler’s annual holiday market.

General shopping hours are noon to 8 p.m. today and Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Harvey Convention Center, 2000 W. Front St.

Tickets cost $10 and are available by calling 903-595-5427 or going to juniorleagueoftyler.org. Tickets also will be sold at the door.

Besides general shopping, Mistletoe & Magic has special events with different ticket prices. The events are: early shopping, 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, $35; Brighton Brunch, 9:30 a.m. to noon today, $100 VIP with reserved seating and $50 general; and Miss Kay (Kay Roberson of “Duck Dynasty”) Brunch, 9:30 a.m. to noon Friday, $100 VIP with reserved seating and $50 general.

American Dreamer in Edom

American Dreamer, a group that uses stringed instruments, vocals and drums to present folk music, will perform Saturday at The Old Firehouse in Edom.

The concert is set for 7:30 p.m. in the 60-seat venue downtown as part of a folk music series.

The group, whose members met while pursuing graduate degrees at the University of Texas, create new variations on traditional folk music.

Tickets cost $13.50 in advance and $15 at the door. Tickets are available on the venue’s website, jeffreylancephotography.com/theoldfirehouse/concerts .

Athens’ Holiday on the Square

There will be several activities Saturday in downtown Athens as part of Holiday on the Square.

The activities will include Lunch with Santa; the Yuletide Market from noon to 5 p.m. at The Texan, 209 E. Tyler St.; lighting of a community Christmas tree; and Athens Christmas Parade at 6:30 p.m.

Wrap it up at Tyler library

Tyler Public Library, 201 S. College Ave., is making its third-floor Makerspace room available to people who need a place to wrap Christmas gifts.

The wrapping times are set from noon to 2 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. on Dec. 9, 16 and 23.

Wrapping paper will be made available while supplies last.

Christmas events in Palestine

Several holiday events will take place Saturday and Sunday in Palestine.

The Christmas Parade of Lights will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday and follow a route downtown. After the parade, Santa will visit with children in Reagan Park.

The Hearth and Tinsel Holiday Tour of Homes is set from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday. On the tour are homes at 616 S. Sycamore St., 1211 S. Sycamore St., 405 E. Neches St., 506 E. Neches St. and 503 Crockett Road. The cost is $15. Tickets are available in advance at Palestine Chamber of Commerce and at participating homes during the tour.

The Dogwood Jamboree will have a holiday-themed country music and comedy show 7 p.m. Saturday in Palestine High School auditorium. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $6 for children 6 to 10. Information is available at dogwoodjamboree.com.

The Anderson County Community Choir and Orchestra will present Sounds of Christmas, a free concert of holiday music, at 2 p.m. Sunday in Palestine High School’s auditorium.

Youth orchestra concert set

The East Texas Youth Orchestra’s winter concert is set for 4 p.m. Sunday at Winona High School.

Both the beginner and advanced ensembles will perform and then unite for a concert of holiday music in a sing-along format.

Blue Santa Pub Crawl set Dec. 14

Tickets are on sale for the third annual Blue Santa Pub Crawl, a fun event that raises money for Tyler Fraternal Order of Police’s program to give gift cards to needy children for Christmas.

Participants must buy a ticket online at eguidemagazine.com/bluesanta. Tickets purchased before midnight Dec. 13 cost $25. Tickets purchased after that cost $35.

On Dec. 14, participants will check in at ETX Brewing Co., 221 S. Broadway Ave., to get instructions and, beginning at 4 p.m., go to sites around downtown to pick up pieces to complete a Santa costume.

‘A Very Jazzy Christmas’

The University of Texas at Tyler Jazz Ensemble will present “A Very Jazzy Christmas” 7 p.m. Friday in the campus’ University Center Theater.

The free concert also will feature the East Texas Youth Orchestra Jazz Band and other UT Tyler performing groups.

Yuletide Madrigal Feaste set

Tyler Civic Chorale will present a Yuletide Madrigal Feaste 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday at First Presbyterian Church, 230 W. Rusk St. in Tyler

The event offers a chance to step back to a time of kings, queens, court jesters and minstrels. It will include food, song and dance.

Tickets cost $40 and are available at tylercivicchorale.org.

Star Party at TJC on Saturday

The Earth and Space Science Center at Tyler Junior College will have a Star Party Saturday beginning at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Telescopes will be set up for viewing of the night sky and astronomy buffs will be on hand to help people locate celestial objects.

The event is free.

Carriage rides in Marshall

Sacred Spur Carriage Company is hosting horse-drawn carriage rides to enjoy Christmas lights, sing along to seasonal music and learn facts about the horses and about Marshall.

Carriages, such as the Limo Carriage, offers the perfect place to relax and snuggle up, while the Hotel Surrey is ideal for large groups and families. Rides last approximately 15 minutes and tour the historic downtown and lighting displays. Rides range from $10 to $12.50 per seat.

Rides are available during regular Wonderland of Lights of hours 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and Saturday 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Holiday carousel rides in Marshall

A restored vintage Allen Herschell carousel is open during Wonderland of Lights for rides against the backdrop of the 1901 Historical Harrison County Courthouse adorned with white lights.

The carousel will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday evenings, and 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays. Tickets are $3.

Outdoor ice skating available

Outdoor ice skating is one of the main attractions in Marshall during the Wonderland of Lights.

The covered ice skating rink sits outdoors against the backdrop of the 1901 Harrison County Courthouse. Sessions start every hour on the hour and last 45 minutes.

Cost is $10 per person and includes skate rental. Skating is available from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday evenings, and 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays.

Marshall parade set Saturday

The 2019 Wonderland of Lights Christmas Parade will once again wind its way through historic downtown Marshall at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7.

The lighted parade features antique and classic cars, marching bands, drill teams, lighted floats, mounted horses, and of course, Santa Claus.

The rain date for the parade is Dec. 4.

Two blood drives scheduled

Panola College is hosting a blood drive from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 1109 W. Panola in the parking lot in front of the ballroom on the Carter BloodCare bus. For more information or to schedule an appointment time, contact Jody Harris at (903) 693-2011.

Carthage’s annual Battle of the Badges blood drive competition is from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at 321 W. Panola in the parking lot of the Police/Fire Building on the Carter BloodCare bus. For more information or to schedule an appointment time, contact Jacque Decker at (903) 504-0812.

Eat a nutritious meal and drink plenty of water one to two hours before giving blood. Standard eligibility requirements are a minimum weight of 110 pounds, that the donor feels well that day and presents a government-issued photo ID at each donation.

For more information on donor eligibility and to make an appointment, call or text (800) 366-2834 or visit carterbloodcare.org.

Festival of Lights at Gary ISD

Gary ISD’s Festival of Lights is Saturday, Dec. 7 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Gary High School, 132 Bobcat Trail. Food and craft booths will be available for the public’s enjoyment, as well as local live entertainment on the Christmas Stage. The festival also offers a Pet Parade and Chili Cook-Off.

In addition to the festivities in the high school, there will be a light display. As they have done each year, the Gary ISD Student Council will kick off the Christmas Season by decorating the Gary City Square. Thousands of twinkling lights and 12 8-foot angels will line the square. Each of these angels have been donated in honor of or in memory of a loved one. Christmas scenes and a lifesize Nativity scene will light up at approximately 4 p.m. on the day of the festival and be on display for surrounding communities to enjoy through early January.