By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Friday, November 28
Highland Park Village Goes Red: Twenty-First Annual Tree Lighting Festival begins at 5 p.m. Zorya-Ukrainian Dancers of Dallas, who have performed as the opening act for Yakov Smirnoff and the Kiev Boys' Choir and at the internationally renowned Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, will be performing the Hopak (Russian dance of celebration), the Honyvitar (wind dance), and the Chumak (the salt trader dance) in their traditional style and custom-made costumes. Russian hors d'oeuvres in addition to Starbucks coffee, hot chocolate, gingerbread cookies, and pastries will be offered throughout the evening. Highland Park Village's version of the troika (the Russian sleigh) will be taking guests on complimentary sleigh rides through the historic residential area. At 6:30 p.m., the Christmas tree will be lit, immediately followed by the arrival of Santa Claus in a troika. After the ceremonial lighting, children are invited to be photographed with Santa and entertained by Frosty, Rudolph, and the Nutcracker. Call (214) 559-2740 for more information.
Santa cruises along the Mandalay Canal on weekends through December 23. The Mandalay Canal, one block north of State Highway 114 on O'Connor Road at Las Colinas Boulevard. Ticket prices: $3.75 adults; $1.50, children 12-3; children 3 and under free. Contact: (972) 556-0625 or (972) 869-4321.
"All I Want For Christmas": This is the theme for the "Parade of Lights," the event that has kicked off the holiday season for Fort Worth and Tarrant County for well over a decade. The parade begins at 6 p.m. at the Courthouse on Main St., goes down Main to 8th Street, west on 8th Street, then north on Houston St. The Tree Lighting Ceremony will follow the parade at 7:30 p.m. at General Worth Square. New this year is the "Parade of Lights" Craft Fair from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. at the Worthington Hotel. Call (817) 870-1692 for more information.
Operation Kindness: Santa poses with pets to benefit Operation Kindness animal shelter. Join them in their 10th annual "Pet Photos with Santa" at Warehouse Photographic and Lab, 2225 Beltline at Kelly in Carrollton, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., this Friday and the following three Saturdays to pose for pictures with pets and people. Call Operation Kindness at (972) 418-0938 or Warehouse Photographic and Lab at (972) 416-7110.
Teddy Bear Village: Over 1,000 teddy bears in all shapes and sizes make an impressive display at the Teddy Bear Village during its second year run at Valley View Center. On display through December 30. $1 for Seniors and children 12 and under; $2 for adults. Call (214) 369-4851, ext. 12 or ext. 16 for more information.
Dallas on Ice: Dallas' only outdoor ice skating rink, Dallas on Ice, at NorthPark Center will be open to the public 7 days a week for family ice skating. Admission is $6, and skate rental is $3. Private ice rental and birthday parties available after public scheduled sessions. Call 214 421-rink for times and reservations.
"Ebenezer Scrooge": A Christmas musical version of Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Presented by the Pocket Sandwich Theater on weekends through December 23. Tickets $6-$12. Performed at 5400 E. Mockingbird, #119. Call (214) 821-1860 for info.
"Dickens of a Christmas": The Downtown McKinney Association will present the annual celebration in historic downtown McKinney. Merchants will be attired in Victorian costumes. Activities will begin at 10 a.m. A tree lighting will be held at the old courthouse at 6 p.m. Stores will reopen until 8:30 p.m. for your Christmas shopping. Join them again on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. as the children gather for breakfast with Santa. Activities will conclude at 5 p.m. Saturday. Call (972) 382-4727 for directions and more information.
Saturday, November 29
Preston Park Village Tree Lighting: From 4-6 p.m., Santa will be on site with his reindeer to visit with kids & have pictures made. At 6 p.m. Santa will light a 30 ft. live Christmas tree! Preston at W. Park in Plano. (817) 625-1289.
1997 "Christmas on the Boulevard": Jefferson Blvd. will be decorated with Christmas lights and banners starting November 29. To bring in the holiday season, live entertainment will be provided from 3 to 7 p.m. Booths from area businesses will be set up along with great local shopping. 611 W. Jefferson Blvd. Call (214) 948-4336 or 943-3662.
Holiday Carriage Rides: For the eleventh consecutive holiday season, Highland Park Village will offer horse-drawn holiday carriage rides through the historic residential areas of Highland Park. Rides will operate nightly through December 30, from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Prices vary. To make reservations daily call (214) 521-ride, or individuals may purchase tickets from the Ginger Bread House at the center court of Highland Park Village.
Sunday, November, 30
Food for the Soul: The Body & Soul Homeless Ministry and the Stewpot are providing a unique outlet for the homeless this December through arts programs. They have organized an exhibit to display works, including drawings, paintings, sculpture, woodcarving, pottery, and needlework. The exhibit may be viewed in Gallery 4 of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young, through January 15. Call (214) 760-1400.
Dallas Cowboy tickets: Borders Books and Music in Lewisville will be holding its drawing of a winning entry at 3 p.m. for tickets to the Dallas Cowboys-Carolina Panthers game on December 8. Tickets donated by the publishers of You Know You Are a Dallas Fan If.... Call (972) 459-2481 for details.
Holiday Toy Drive: The holiday season is approaching, and that means it's time again for the Turtle Creek Chorale's annual holiday toy drive benefiting Children's Medical Center. Take an unwrapped gift or toy to any of the Chorale holiday concerts at the Meyerson. Today at 8 p.m.; Dec. 3, at 8 p.m.; Dec. 7 at 2:30 and 8 p.m.; Dec. 10 at 8 p.m. Call (214) 526-3214, ext. 108.