Bush to speak at Belcher Center

A handful of tickets remain for “An Evening with President George W. Bush.”

The former president will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the LeTourneau University Belcher Center as part of the newly formed East Texas Speakers Forum. Tickets are $65 and $100 and may be purchased online at bit.ly/2OotZST through 10 p.m. Sunday.

No Will Call is available for this event, so all tickets must be picked up by 5 p.m. Monday at the Belcher Center box office. On Tuesday, doors will open at 5 p.m. and guests are encouraged to arrive early to allow time for required security checks.

Bush, who served as the 43rd president from 2001 to 2009 and was the 46th governor of Texas from 1995 to 2000, will share stories from his life in business and politics in a Q-and-A format.

Visit easttexasspeakers forum.com for more information.

Councilman hosts meal today

District 3 Longview City Councilman Wray Wade has invited the public to a free Thanksgiving meal today.

His Community Thanksgiving Dinner is from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. today at the Broughton Recreation Center, 801 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Grant to put swing in Christmas songs

The Queen of Swing Kelli Grant will perform “A Swingin’ Christmas” at her Kokomo Theatre on Saturday.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. show at 2400 W. Marshall Ave., with the show promising tunes such as “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “Santa Baby,” Let it Snow,” and other classic Christmas tunes set to her signature sound. The movie “Miracle on 34th Street” will be shown after the concert. The Kokomo Theatre offers a snack bar.

Admission is $20 and reservations are required. For information, call (903) 918-2132.

The Claus family to visit Arboretum

The new Longview Arboretum and Nature Center will welcome a couple of special guests Monday night, when Santa and Mrs. Claus are expected to attend the center’s Holly Days in the Garden.

The event kicks off at 5 p.m. with a members only hour for $3 admission and the grand opening of the Gifting Tree Shop, a branch of the Heartisans Marketplace gift shop in downtown Longview. General admission is from 6-8 p.m. for $5.

Attendees can go on a nighttime tour of the garden and enjoy hot chocolate, cider and brownies and visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus. For additional details, visit the Longview Arboretum and Nature Center on Facebook.

Parades mark Christmas

A number of East Texas cities will hold their Christmas parade next week, including:

Jefferson Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting, 6-9 p.m. Saturday; downtown Jefferson to Lions Park for “Enchanted Forest” Tree Lighting Ceremony

89th Kilgore Christmas Parade, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, downtown Kilgore

Hallsville Lion’s Club Christmas Parade, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday

Longview Ambucs Christmas Parade, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, downtown Longview

Lighted Christmas Parade, 6 p.m. Dec. 7, downtown Marshall.

Gilmer Yulefest Christmas Parade, 6 p.m. Dec. 7, starts on Titus Street

Christmas at museum event

The Gregg County Historical museum will auction off a variety of styles and sizes of decorated Christmas trees, and other holiday items, during its annual Fashion & Firs event, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Admission is free to the public, and attendees also will have a chance to shop with local boutique Morgan Abbigail.

The museum is at 214 N. Fredonia St. For information, call (903) 753-5840.

Art professor’s show at Kilgore

Artwork by University of Texas at Tyler professor Michelle Taff is on display at Kilgore College through Wednesday, in the Anne Dean Turk Fine Arts Gallery.

Taff is a hyperrealism painter and art gallery and media coordinator at the university. Her show is called “The Little Things.”

Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday. Admission is free.

Visit www.facebook.com/michelletaffart/ to view some of Taff’s artwork.

Carthage to celebrate season

Downtown Carthage businesses and Carthage Main Street are planning a variety of activities Saturday as part of Small Business Saturday.

The annual event is designed to highlight the impact small businesses have on communities across the nation, and Carthage will highlight holiday shopping opportunities while also providing entertainment for young children.

“Carthage Main Street hopes you will join us for this great day to celebrate all of our amazing local merchants who support our town,” Main Street Manager Cindy Deloney said in a press release. “You can make a big impact by shopping small.”

Shops around downtown Carthage will be open Saturday. In addition, Boo-Yay’s, 108 W. Sabine St., is planning a cornhole tournament starting at 10 a.m. To sign-up, call the store at (903) 631-0257. Sunflower Mercantile is planning a kazoo-themed Dr. Seuss holiday celebration at Anderson Park at noon.

Carthage Main Street’s first-ever Holiday Pop Up Market is planned from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. downtown, with vendors selling homemade quilts, embroidery, jewelry, soap, paintings and more.

A screening of the Tim Allen classic “The Santa Clause” is planned at 2 p.m. at the Esquire Theater, 114 W. Sabine St., and the Esquire’s restrooms and concessions will be open all day for those shopping downtown.

Babysitting is available at the Santa Clause screening for children 7 and up. Admission to the movie is $8 for adults, $6 for kids 6-12 and free for kids under 6.

Pollard Theater to present ‘Grinch’

The Pollard Theater Center in Tyler is staging “Dr. Seuess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” in performances Dec. 5 to 7.

Curtain times are 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5 and 6 and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 7 at the theater on the campus of Pollard United Methodist Church, 3030 New Copeland Road.

Tickets cost $10 and are available by calling 903-521-0069 or going to showtix4u.com.

Marvin hosts concerts

Marvin United Methodist Church, 300 W. Erwin St. in Tyler will host Christmas Downtown concerts on the next three Wednesdays.

Set to perform are:

■ Dec. 4: Tyler Junior College choirs

■ Dec. 11: StoBro Ensemble

■ Dec. 18: Marvin’s Robinson Handbells

The free concerts will begin at 12:05 in the sanctuary. Patrons can then buy lunch for $5 in Marvin UMC’s Pirtle Hall.

Bullard to hold Christmas event

The Bullard Christmas Kickoff will include several events beginning with a Christmas parade at 6 p.m. Monday.

The parade will feature several school groups, clubs, organizations and city departments, said information posted by the city’s chamber.

Following the parade children can get their photos taken with Santa at Bullard Masonic Lodge, 113 Phillips St. Visitors also will be able to stroll through lighted trees decorated in various themes that were entered in the city’s tree decorating contest.

Panola to present Christmas special

Panola College will present “Christmas in Carthage” at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 3, at the Carthage Civic Center.

This annual celebration of all things Christmas will feature the Panola College Concert Band, Panola College Jazz Band, Panola College Chorale, the Panola Pipers, Panola Honor Choir, Bulldog Belles, dancers from Rowe Performing Arts, and other performers.

Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students.

Tickets will be available at the door. For more information, contact Dwaine Hubbard, Panola College band director, at dhubbard@panola.edu or call (903) 693-2027.

TJC students show art

Works by three Tyler Junior College art students, Emily Everitt of Canton, Jennifer Simmons of Hattiesburg, Mississippi and Lora Waggoner of Whitehouse are on display through Dec. 6 at the Tyler Rose Garden Center, 420 Rose Park Drive in Tyler.

“The project entails not only making a body of work per semester but also learning the professional presentation and the logistics of putting a show together. It also gives our students the opportunity to realize some of the expectations of the professional artist,” Art Professor Philana Oliphant Pace said.

The students were selected by faculty members to show their art.

Church re-creates Bethlehem

Whitehouse First Baptist Church will present its Bethlehem Drive-Thru from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday through Tuesday.

Congregation members will recreate narrated scenes depicting the town of Bethlehem from about the time of Jesus’ birth, said information promoting the event.

The church is locate at 801 E. Main Street in Whitehouse.

‘Oliver!’ opens Dec. 6 in Athens

Rehearsals for the musical “Oliver!” are underway at Henderson County Performing Arts Center in Athens.

Lionel Bart’s adaptation of the Dickens’ classic “Oliver Twist” full of adorable urchins, nasty villains, lovable wenches and rogues. It is directed by HCPAC veteran Kara Catugal Davis and features Saxon Reeves in the title role.

Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6 13-15 and 2 p.m. Dec. 7-8 and 15 at 400 Gibson Road.

Reservations may be made at HCPAC.org or calling 903-675-3908.

Playhouse staging ‘Belles’

The Lake Country Playhouse is staging the comedy “Christmas Belles” in three performances.

Curtain times at Select Theater, 114 N. Johnson St. in Mineola, are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Dec. 6 and 7 and 2 p.m. Sunday and Dec. 8.

Tickets are available in advance by calling the box office, 903-569-2300.