The Holidays are getting closer and weekend events are plentiful. Here are quite a few happening this weekend in Gainesville, Florida; Alachua County and Ocala, Florida from December 9-12, 2011. Please continue to follow our blogs for continual Holiday cheer.
PS. Matchmaker Realty will have a float at the Alachua Parade on Saturday, December 10th st 2pm. We would love to see you out there.
December 9th – Haile Homestead Candlelight Tours from 6pm-9pm $10 adults and free 12 and under – See Haile Homestead at night. 8500 Archer Rd, Gainesville, Florida (352) 336-9096
December 9th – Christmas on Main Street in Trenton, FREE. Celebrate an evening of Festive Family Fun. Share the joy of the holiday season with a Christmas Tree Lighting * Christmas CarolingCookies with Santa * Storytelling * Live Nativity After Hours Shopping * Dinner Specials Face Painting * Chalk Art * Music in the Trenton Depot. 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM Drawing for 25 bicycles at 8:45. Trenton, FL / For more information, call (352) 463-3467
December 9th – Light Up Williston Christmas Parade FREE. Community pride and holiday cheer make the annual “Light Up Williston” celebration memorable for all who attend. Long before the starting time of 6 p.m., folks fill up parking spots and gather along Noble Ave. to claim the best vantage points from which to view the holiday extravaganza. Children scramble for the candy tossed out along the street. Adults watch expectantly for an anticipated favorite float to pass by. With the Williston High School marching band, the fire department, local floats and more than a dozen seated riders from the horse club the parade is truly a hometown celebration. Before the parade, many people stop by the GFWC Woman’s Club tent to purchase dinner, snacks and hot chocolate. After the parade, everyone treks back down Linear Park to the city’s pavilion where the structure is put to good use as folks gathered to hear children and adults alike sing many holiday favorites. The annual reading of a favorite Christmas fable provides entertainment for the children. Decorated with lights, the circular building provides the perfect venue for performances and then everyone is able to watch as the festival’s namesake comes to pass: the illumination event. The mayor, Miss Williston and Little Miss Williston throw the switch to “Light Up Williston.” 6:00 PM Williston, FL 32696 / (352) 528-5552
December 9th – Christmas Musical, “Journey to the Manger” FREE A search for the true meaning of Christmas in drama and music. 7pm - First Baptist Church of Alachua: 14005 NW 146th Ave, Alachua, FL, 32615 / Box Office: (386) 462-1337
December 9th - December 11th - Boars Head Festival $5 Each December this major medieval English festival is presented. The colorful ceremony of the Boar’s Head became a part of the Christmas celebration in the great manor houses of the Middle Ages and has become a telling of the coming of the Christ Child. Festival music, multiple choirs, period costumes, and grandeur mark this as a special highlight of the year! 4:30 and 7:30 First Lutheran Church: 1801 NW 5th Avenue Gainesville, FL 32603 (352) 376-2062
December 9th - Rudolph Showing with Santa Join Sprout on Historic Main Street in Alachua from 6pm-9pm for Carraige rides, music in our Theater Park, and family friendly activities. All Main Street Merchants stay open late. Sprout will be showing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa will be joining us while making his list and checking it twice for all the little sprouts.
December 10th – Alachua’s Annual Christmas Parade. Come see Matchmaker’s float! Main Street, Alachua, FL / For more information, call (386) 462-1231
December 10th – Hawthorne Christmas Festival FREE Live Entertainment, Arts, Crafts and Food Booths Parade @ 3:00PM Santa visits from 4:00PM – 5:00PM at the Hawthorne Library Special Tree Lighting Ceremony @ 6:00pm Downtown Hawthorne on Johnson Street (S.E. 221st Street) Hawthorne, FL 32640 For More Information Call (352) 481-3534
December 10th – Holiday Home Tours FREE The historic homes of SE Gainesville are once again opening their doors to holiday visitors. Horse-drawn carriages trotting along, holiday entertainment, warm mugs of hot cocoa and apple cider and freshly baked cookies are just some of what visitors can expect as they tour decorated, historic homes and bed and breakfasts of Downtown Gainesville. 6:00PM – 8:00 PM Matheson House: 513 E. University Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32601 / (352) 378-2280
December 10th - Cookies and Hot Cocoa with Santa after the Alachua Christmas Parade Join Sprout directly after the Alachua Christmas Parade for cookies and Hot Cocoa with Santa. Santa will be available for photos and fellowship. 3:00PM – 6:00PM
December, 10th – First Annual Gathering of the Artists at the Thomas Center from 1pm-9pm – An Artists Holiday Show with a unique collaboration of 18 award-winning individuals showcasing their best work in ceramics, painting, sculpture, quilting, jewelry, hand painted silks and wood furniture. 302 NE Sixth Ave., Gainesville, Florida (352) 334-5064
December 10th – Blue Oven Kitchens’ Winter Gift Fair in the Downtown Sun Center from 3pm-7pm - Local artists, crafters, and food entreprenuers have their wares to help you wrap up your holiday shopping. 101 SE 2nd Pl., Gainesville, Florida
December 10th – Danscompany Presents Cinderella at the Phillips Center for Performing Arts at 1:30 and 7pm. Call 352-371-0671 for Tickets
December 10th - Merry Melrose Parade and Arts and Crafts Festival - Join with hundreds of spectators to watch the Merry Melrose Christmas Parade and then peruse the 10th annual Merry Melrose Arts and crafts festival at beautiful Heritage Park in lovely downtown Melrose. Dozens of vendors will be selling their wide variety of wares. Local food, music, fun and games create a spectacular holiday event. Word is that Santa will be making a special appearance. 10:00AM – 3:00PM Heritage Park: 203 State Rd. 26, Melrose, FL, 32666
December 10th- Madrigal $15 A concert of vocal and instrumental secular and sacred music from the Elizabethan period performed by costumed singers. Performance includes madrigals and music for the Christmas season. Traditional wassail, with light refreshments served at intermission to patrons seated at tables. 7:30PM Trinity Episcopal Church: State Route 26, Melrose, FL, 32666 For more information or make reservations, call (352) 475-1842
December 10th – Fanning Springs Festival of Lights. The Fanning Springs Festival of Lights is one of the longest running holiday festivals in the area. It receives a very large attendance of locals and out-of-the-area folks alike to enjoy the arts and crafts, the antique car show, the great entertainment, the delicious food, the famous rubber ducky race in the afternoon and, of course, the lighted boat parade. $6.00 per vehicle. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle. $4.00 Single Occupant Vehicle. Fanning Springs City Park, Fanning Springs, Florida 32693 / (352) 463-9089
December 10th – Gainesville Pops Holiday Concert FREE The Most Wonderful Time of the Year! Free Holiday Concert with the Gainesville Pops! Canned food donations accepted. 3pm First United Methodist Church: 419 NE First St., Gainesville, FL, 32601 / (352) 372-8523
December 9th-11th- Gainesville Christmas Festival $10-$12 per person - Combines music, theatre, choreography, and special effects to become a one-of-a-kind holiday show. And kids will love the visits from Frosty the Snowman and Santa! 6:00PM every night 2:00PM Westside Baptist Church: 10000 W. Newberry Rd. Gainesville, FL 32606 (352) 333-7700
December 11th – Alachua County Youth Orchestra Holiday Concert at the Phillips Center for Performing Arts FREE at 7pm
UNTIL December 12th – A Cedar Key Christmas – Events are taking place all month, including a tree lighting, caroling, movie in the park, horse and buggy rides every weekend and more.
Don’t forget to send you cards to Santa for Operation Letters to Santa by December 13th for children in Kindergarden to 3rd grade. Please inlcude child’s name, age, gender, mailing address, zip code, 2 accomplishments for 2011 and 3 wishes no more than 1 page long for a reply from Santa. Operation Letters to Santa drop-off locations: Eastside Recreation Center (2841 E. University Ave.); Clarence R. Community Center (1700 NE Eighth Ave.); Porters Community Center (512 SW Second Ter.); Rosa B Williams Community Center (524 NW 1st Street); Albert “Ray” Massey Recreation Center (1001 NW 34th St.)