Festive events, celebrations taking place through holiday season

‘Tis the middle of December, and holiday events continue. Here’s a list:

The second weekend of the Appalachian Ballet Company’s 42nd annual “The Nutcracker” has performances at 2 and 8 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Clayton Center for the Arts in Maryville. Advance tickets are $40, $35 or $25; tickets at the door are $45, $40 or $30. Students and senior citizens get $5 off.

Santa Claus is at the Knoxville Zoo for “Santa’s Village” 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 12-15 at the zoo. Visit with Santa and have a photograph taken. There’s also a Secret Santa Shop. From December through February, the zoo has half-price admission. Parking is $5 a vehicle.

Knoxville’s Holiday on Ice open-air ice rink at Market Square is open daily except Christmas Day through Jan. 5, 2014. Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for children ages 12 and younger and includes skate rental. Hours are 4-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday until Dec. 19, 1-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday Dec. 20-Jan. 5; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 1-9 p.m. Sunday through Jan. 5. The rink is also open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 24, 1 p.m.-midnight Dec. 31 and 1-9 p.m. Jan. 1.

Clarence Brown Theatre presents “A Christmas Carol” 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11-14 and Dec. 19-21 with 2 p.m. matinees Dec. 8, Dec. 15 and Dec. 22. A ticket to a Friday, Saturday or Sunday performance is $30 for adults, $25 for senior citizens, $15 for UT faculty/staff or non-UT students, $5 for UT students. Wednesday or Thursday tickets are $25 for adults, $19 for senior citizens, $12 for UT faculty/staff or non-UT students and $5 for UT students. Tickets are at 865-974-5161 or http://clarencebrowntheatre.com.

”Greetings!” a five-character comedy about family dynamics during the holidays, is presented by Theatre Knoxville Downtown, 319 N. Gay St. In the play, a young man brings his Jewish atheist fiancé home on Christmas Eve to meet his Catholic parents. Shows are 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 15. Tickets are $10 for Thursday or Sunday shows; $15 for Friday or Saturday, at www.theatreknoxville.com or 865-544-1999.

Three Rivers Rambler’s Christmas Express leaves from Volunteer Landing off Neyland Drive with refreshments, stories and visits with Santa Claus. Trips are 10 a.m., 1 and 4 p.m. Dec. 14 and Dec 21; 1 and 4 p.m. Dec. 15 and Dec. 22. Tickets are $26.50 for adults, $25.50 for senior citizens age 55 and older, $15.50 for ages 3-12, $7.50 ages 1-2, free babies under age 1. Reservations are required at 865-524-9411 or www.threeriversrambler.com.

More decorated home tours. The Knoxville Museum of Art’s Holiday Homes Tour includes a $100 per person candlelight home reception 6:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 12 and Dec. 13 tour and lunch with homes open 9-11:30 a.m. and 1:30-4:30 p.m. and lunch at Cherokee County Club at noon. Tickets for Dec. 13 are $85 a person. More information is at www.knoxart.org.

The City of Knoxville’s Christmas in the City’s “Comcast Christmas at Chilhowee Park” is 6 p.m. Dec. 13. The park off Magnolia Avenue becomes a winter wonderland with lighted tree forms floating on and standing around the lake and in the park. There are train rides, free pictures with Santa, marshmallow roasting, hot cocoa, face painting and balloon animal making. Members of the Austin East Magnet High School ‘s Culinary Arts Department will help visitors create gingerbread houses. Chilhowee Park stays open until 10 p.m. through Jan. 1 for self-guided driving tours of its decorations.

The WordPlayers with the Arts at Pellissippi State Community College present the comedy “Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells” at 7:30. p.m. Dec. 13, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14. Shows are at Pellissippi’s Clayton Performing Arts Center at its Harden Valley campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens or students, $8 for ages 12-17, $5 for children under 12 at 865-694-6684.

The story of Jesus’ birth is told by The Nativity Pageant of Knoxville’s 80-voice choir, costumed actors and live animals. The free event at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum is 3 p.m. Dec. 14-15, 7 p.m. Dec. 16.

The East Tennessee Historical Society’s Open House celebrates the season 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 14 at the East Tennessee History Center, 601 S. Gay St. The free event includes music, craft demonstrations, ornament making, storytelling and free admission to the Museum of East Tennessee History.

Two historic homes host holiday tours in mid-December. Marble Springs State Historic Site’s Christmas Candlelight Tours are 4-8 p.m. Dec. 14 at the farmstead home of Tennessee’ first governor. Cost is a $2 donation for the tour. Buildings will be decorated; there’ll be music and open hearth cooking. Mabry-Hazen, 1711 Dandridge Ave., hosts free tours 5-8 p.m. Dec. 14, 2 -5 p.m. Dec. 15. Area designers, volunteers and museum staff decorate the historic home’s rooms. Donations are accepted.

Swing through the holidays with the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra’s “Swingin’ Christmas” concert 8 p.m. Dec. 17 at the Tennessee Theatre. Guitarist and vocalist John Pizzarelli performs with band. Tickets are $36.50 for adults, $15 for students at http://www.knoxjazz.org or 865-656-4444.

Circle Modern Dance’s 23rd annual “Modern Dance Primitive Light” is 8 p.m. Dec. 19, 7 and 9 p.m. Dec. 20-21 at the Laurel Theater, 1538 Laurel Ave. Tickets are $13 for adults, $8.50 for students or senior citizens at www.knoxtix.com; $15 and $10 at the door. Bring a pillow; seating is limited.

It’s a musical Celtic holiday at the Knoxville Symphony’s 27th annual Clayton Holiday Concerts. The concerts are 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20, 3 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21. 3 p.m. Dec. 22. Tickets range from $14 to $45 for adults at 865-291-3310 or www.knoxvillesymphony.

Sevier Heights Baptist Church’s 25th “Living Christmas tree” is 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 21-22 at Thompson Boling Arena on the University of Tennessee campus. There’s free admission but free tickets are required by going to http://livingchristmastree.org.

Ballet Gloria presents Act II of “Nutcracker” and “What Child is This?” at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21 at the Clayton Performing Arts Center at Pellissippi State Community College’s Hardin Valley campus. Tickets are $10 for adults or $8 for senior citizens and students. Tickets are at the Tennessee Conservatory of Fine Arts, http://tcfinearts.com, or at the door.

The holiday classic “Miracle on 34th Street” airs 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20-21, 2 p.m. Dec. 22 at the Tennessee Theatre. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for children or senior citizens. Tickets are at http://tennesseetheatre.com or 865-684-1200.

There’s one more “Nutcracker” just before Christmas. Moscow Ballet’s traveling “Great Russian Nutcracker” is 4 and 8 p.m. Dec. 23 at the Tennessee Theatre. Adult tickets range from $30 for a limited view to $90 for some orchestra level seats.

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