by Lindsay Cuomo
City officials and community organizations in Norman and Moore have plenty of special events planned to spread holiday cheer all season long.
A COMMUNITY TREE LIGHTING AT ANDREWS PARK
On Nov. 30, Norman residents can celebrate Norman’s annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
“This is the first year the city and the library are working together to coordinate this event,” said Jason Olsen, parks and recreation superintendent. “Families can get in the holiday spirit with the tree lighting and then have some fun in the warmth inside the library.”
Hot chocolate, apple cider and cookies will be served as attendees enjoy festive music. After the tree lighting, carolers from Wilson Elementary will guide the party inside the nearby library, where families can enjoy arts and crafts, story time and the chance to take a picture with Santa.
Festivities are planned to begin at 5:30 p.m.
WINTERFEST AT LEGACY PARK
The celebrations continue the following Friday, Dec. 7 at Legacy Park. Beginning at 5:30 p.m., attendees will be treated to a full lineup of musical performances from Sooner Theatre, local churches, schools and more. There will be a gift-wrapping contest as well as arts and crafts. Kids can enjoy several festive activities, including a special appearance from Santa. Snap a picture or two with the jolly old elf in a fun photo booth.
“You get a printed copy and we will share the photos on our Facebook page too,” Olsen said.
Adding to the charm, Legacy Park will now feature a Christmas tree as part of the park’s holiday décor. For the first time in several years, Norman will have a living Christmas tree. The tree will be donated by Wells Christmas Farm in Norman.
For a full line up of performers and more details about Winterfest, check the Norman Parks and Recreation Facebook page.
“A CHRISTMAS CAROL” AT UNIVERSITY THEATRE
Opening Nov. 30 and continuing Dec. 8, University Theatre will share a stage production of the beloved classic based on the novel by Charles Dickens. Suitable for all ages, performances will take audiences on a journey of redemption, filled with music, dance and Yuletide spirit. Tickets go on sale Nov. 12 at the Elsie C. Brackett Theatre and online at theatre.ou.edu.
MERRY & BRIGHT IN LIGHTS
The Norman Christmas Parade made a historic change last year, and the nighttime parade returns again on Dec. 8. Organizers made the move, so the festivities could include lights. Given the success and community response, this year’s Christmas parade will begin a little later, beginning at 6 p.m. so the lights can shine even brighter.
“We are excited about doing the parade at night again because we so enjoy all the lighted floats,” said Matt Woodland, this year’s parade treasurer. “Many of the participants are excited to up their game and add more lights.”
Lining Main Street, spectators will also enjoy marching bands and a host of Christmas characters, including the man of the month, Santa Claus. Afterward, First Fidelity Bank will host Santa, so kids can stop in for a visit and pose for photos. For more details, visit www.normanchristmasparade.com.
SOONER THEATRE PRESENTS “A CHRISTMAS STORY”
Back by popular demand, Sooner Theatre opens its production of the hit musical Dec. 7, running for two consecutive weekends in December. Travel back to the 1940s with Ralphie Parker as he endeavors to get his coveted Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle. Fans of the popular Christmas movie will enjoy all the iconic scenes, including Flick getting his tongue stuck to the flagpole, Randy getting dressed in his snowsuit, the leg lamp award, the bunny suit and more. Tickets range from $28 – $33 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under. For more information, visit www.soonertheatre.org or call 321-9600.
ALL ABOARD! FAMILY NIGHT AT FRED JONES JR. MUSEUM OF ART
Organizers are starting a new tradition with their holiday festivities, and trains are taking over the museum! Museum-goers of all ages can enjoy model trains, art activities, banjo lessons, performances from the University of Oklahoma School of Dance and a cookie and hot cocoa bar on Dec. 13.
The family-friendly event starts at 6 p.m. and a train-lighting ceremony starts at 7 p.m.
The model trains will remain on display at the museum throughout the month of December. As always, the museum is free, thanks to the generous support of the OU Office of the President and the OU Athletics Department. For more information, visit www.ou.edu/fjjma.
DISCOVER UNIQUE FINDS AT THE CLEVELAND COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS CRAFT SHOW
For more than 20 years, a holiday crafters market has been held at the Cleveland County fairgrounds. Shoppers can browse a wide variety of hand-crafted and market items, including housewares, clothing, wine, décor and more. Get a head start on those holiday lists at one of the three shopping days this season: Nov. 23, Nov. 24 and Dec. 8 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.– BSM