Dashing to the show

Get your creative decorating juices flowing by visiting the 18th annual Festival of Trees. You'll find evergreens decked in trimmings from traditional to outlandish -- think tennis shoes and CDs. The trees can be viewed from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Viewing ends at 5 p.m. Tuesday in advance of the 8 p.m. auction. All proceeds benefit The Shelter Inc.

If you've only dropped by the Van Go Mobile Arts studio during the "off-season," you'll hardly recognize it all decked out for the annual Adornment Show, which features artwork created by Lawrence youth enrolled in Van Go's vocational arts training program. The studio, at 715 N.J., is open 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. through Dec. 23 for browsing -- and buying.

Old traditions meet new ones in this trio of Kansas University concerts. Jazz Vespers, featuring KU's top jazz musicians and vocalists, returns for its third year 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Lied Center. On Sunday, Holiday Vespers marks its 80th anniversary with 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. performances, preceded by 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Vespers Organ Concerts next door at Bales Organ Recital Hall.

The works are handmade and the artists homegrown at the Lawrence Art Guild's annual Holiday Art Fair. More than 70 area creative types will peddle fine arts and fine crafts as roving musicians serenade shoppers. The conveniently timed holiday gift-buying event will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 N.H.

Long-time attendees of the Festival of Nativities at Centenary United Methodist Church say browsing visions of the Christmas story as seen through the eyes of different nationalities and cultures is a welcome respite from the frantic pace of holiday shopping. See if you agree by visiting during viewing hours: noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 4-5, 11-12 and 18-19 at the church, 245 N. Fourth St.

Olives. Martinis. What more could you ask for in a swanky holiday party? And at the Holiday Olive Soiree, you get fresh, funky art to boot. Olive Gallery and Art Supply's festive gathering will take place from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday against a backdrop of new artwork by more than 25 local and regional artists. Swing by the gallery at 15 E. Eighth St.

The Lawrence Arts Center continues to prove there's more than one way to crack a nut with its third annual production of "A Kansas Nutcracker". New this year will be appearances by members of abolitionist John Brown's family. The show, which features a small army of community actors, dancers and musicians, will play at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10-11, 17-18 and 2 p.m. Dec. 12 and 19 at the arts center.

By the time fiddler Bonnie Rideout and her troupe of Celtic musicians roll into the Lied Center Dec. 10, you may be tired of traditional American Christmas carols. "A Scottish Christmas with Bonnie Rideout" will feature Scottish carols, wassail tunes and dance music played on fiddle, bagpipes, Celtic harp, bodran and other instruments. The show starts at 7:30 p.m.

For a decidedly American take on the Christmas story, check out "A Jazz Nativity" at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12 at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 15th and Iowa streets. Glass Coffee Table, the JCCC Jazz Choir and the Immanuel Lutheran Worship and Praise Team will perform.

The choral ensemble Octarium takes its name from the Latin word for "eight as one," which, the vocalists say, defines their mission: eight singers, one choral voice. How's that for holiday harmony? The group will present "Holidays with Octarium" 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18 at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church, 5700 W. Sixth St.

Through Thursday

Fair Trade Holiday Gift Market, featuring handcrafted international gifts, noon-9 p.m., Ecumenical Christian Ministries, 1204 Oread Ave., 843-4933.

Through Dec. 12

"Anything Goes," 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Sundays, Lawrence Community Theatre, 1501 N.H., 843-7469.

Monday-Thursday

Festival of Trees, viewings on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; viewings on Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the auction at 8 p.m., 642 Mass., 843-2085.

Dec. 7-Dec. 23

Lawrence Photo Alliance All-Member Show, Lawrence Arts Center, 940 N.H., 843-2787. Reception: 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Dec. 9.

Lawrence Arts Center Faculty and Staff Exhibition, Lawrence Arts Center, 940 N.H., 843-2787. Reception: 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Dec. 9.

Dec. 9-11

Mulvane Art Museum Holiday Market, Mulvane Art Museum, 17th and Jewell, (785) 231-1124.

Dec. 10-19

"A Kansas Nutcracker," 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, Lawrence Arts Center, 940 N.H., 843-2787.

Through Dec. 17

Art Affair annual holiday show, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday and Friday; 10 a.m.-noon and 2 p.m.- 6 p.m. Thursday; 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, Art Affair gallery, corner of Seventh and High streets, Baldwin, (785) 594-7470.

Through Dec. 23

Van Go Mobile Arts Annual Adornment Show, featuring glass bowls, frames and mirrors, prints, masks, mosaic lamps, painted gardening items and a poetry book created by Lawrence youth enrolled in Van Go's vocational arts training program, 1 p.m.-5 p.m. through Dec. 23, Van Go studio, 715 N.J., 842-3797

Through December

Holiday Art Show, featuring more than 25 area artists, Olive Gallery and Art Supply, 15 E. Eighth St., 331-4114.

Tuesday

KU Symphonic Band, 7:30 p.m., Lied Center, 1600 Stewart Drive, 864-2787.

Festival of Trees auction, 8 p.m., Liberty Hall, 642 Mass., 843-2085.

Wednesday

Brown Bag Classics: KU Opera preview of "The Faust Project," 12:30 p.m.-1 p.m., Alderson Auditorium, Kansas Union, 864-3436.

Thursday

KU Camerata, 6 p.m., Spencer Museum of Art, 1301 Jayhawk Blvd., 864-3436.

Jazz Vespers, 7:30 p.m., Lied Center, 864-2787.

New Dance Concert, featuring Kansas University student and faculty choreography and work by graduating seniors, 7:30 p.m., Elizabeth Sherbon Dance Theatre, 240 Robinson Center, 864-4264.

Friday

New Dance Concert, featuring Kansas University student and faculty choreography and work by graduating seniors, 7:30 p.m., Elizabeth Sherbon Dance Theatre, 240 Robinson Center, 864-4264.

Saturday

Holiday Art Fair, Lawrence Art Guild, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Lawrence Arts Center, 940 N.H., 843-2787.

Annual Arts and Crafts Bazaar, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Douglas County Fairgrounds, 21st and Harper, 842-6220.

Festival of Nativities, noon-4 p.m., Centenary United Methodist Church, Fourth and Elm streets.

Holiday Olive Soiree, 6 p.m.-10 p.m., Olive Gallery and Art Supply, 15 E. Eighth St., 331-4114.

"With Bells On," the Heartland Men's Chorus, 8 p.m., Folly Theatre, 300 W. 12th St., Kansas City, Mo., (816) 931-3338.

Dec. 5

Festival of Nativities, noon-4 p.m., Centenary United Methodist Church, Fourth and Elm streets.

Good Ole Boys Country Band Christmas Party/Potluck, 1 p.m.-5 p.m., Steve's Place, 31st and Louisiana streets, $5 and covered dish, 843-5105, all proceeds donated to needy children at Christmas.

Vespers Organ Concert, with performer Tandy Reussner, 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., Bales Organ Recital Hall, adjacent to the Lied Center, 865-5513.

Holiday Vespers, 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Lied Center, 864-2787.

Baldwin's Holiday Light Parade, 6 p.m., Baldwin, (785) 594-3900 and (785) 594-3200.

Baker University's 72nd annual Christmas Candlelight Vespers, 4 p.m.-7:30 p.m., First United Methodist Church, Baldwin, (785) 594-6451.

"With Bells On," the Heartland Men's Chorus, 4 p.m., Folly Theatre, 300 W. 12th St., Kansas City, Mo., (816) 931-3338.

Dec. 6

"The Faust Project," a KU Opera production, 7:30 p.m., Robert Baustian Theatre (formerly known as The Black Box), Murphy Hall, 864-3436.

Dec. 7

"A Chamber Messiah" by the Shawnee Mission High School East Chamber Singers and Kansas University Instrumental Collegium Musicum, 7 p.m., First Presbyterian Church, 2415 Clinton Parkway, 864-9716.

Kansas University Band, 7:30 p.m., Lied Center, 864-2787.

"The Faust Project," a KU Opera production, 7:30 p.m., Robert Baustian Theatre (formerly known as The Black Box), Murphy Hall, 864-3436.

Dec. 9

Kansas University Collegium Musicum, "In Dulci Jubilo: Early Music for the Holiday Season," 7:30 p.m., Bales Organ Recital Hall, 864-9716.

Dec. 10

South Singers mini-concert, 11:25 a.m.-11:45 a.m., First Presbyterian Church, 2415 Clinton Parkway, 843-4171.

"A December Grief: Living with Loss When Others Are Celebrating," by Harold Ivan Smith, 4 p.m., Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt., 842-3627.

A Scottish Christmas with Bonnie Rideout", 7:30 p.m., Lied Center, 864-2787.

Dec. 11

Lawrence Holiday Farmer's Market, 8 a.m.-3 p.m., Knights of Columbus, 2206 E. 23rd St., 841-7438.

Children's Holiday Shop and Preschool Cookie Sale, 10:45 a.m., Lawrence Arts Center, 940 N.H., 843-2787.

Festival of Nativities, noon-4 p.m., Centenary United Methodist Church, Fourth and Elm streets, 843-1756.

Musica Sacra of Kansas City, 7 p.m., St. Francis Xavier Church, Kansas City, Mo., 52nd Street and Troost Avenue, (816) 501-4828.

Dec. 12

"A Jazz Nativity: A Celebration of Christmas in America's Own Musical Language," with Glass Coffee Table, Johnson County Community College Jazz Choir, Immanuel Lutheran Worship and Praise Team, 7:30 p.m., Immanuel Lutheran Church sanctuary, 15th and Iowa streets, 841-5954.

Festival of Nativities, noon-4 p.m., Centenary United Methodist Church, Fourth and Elm, 843-1756.

Santa's Book Giveaway, 1 p.m.-3 p.m., Half Price Books, 1519 W. 23rd St., 856-4253.

Lawrence Open Shelter third annual holiday gathering and birthday party, St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, enter by east door at 1229 Vt., 832-0040 or 842-5083.

Dec. 17

"Holidays with Octarium," 7:30 p.m., Saint Andrew's, 6401 Wornall Terrace, Kansas City, Mo., (816) 729-6516.

Dec. 18

Festival of Nativities, noon-4 p.m., Centenary United Methodist Church, Fourth and Elm streets, 843-1756.

"Holidays with Octarium," 7:30 p.m., St. Margaret's Episcopal Church, 5700 W. Sixth St., (816) 729-6516.

Dec. 19

Festival of Nativities, noon-4 p.m., Centenary United Methodist Church, Fourth and Elm streets, 843-1756.

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