Tuesday, November 25, 2014

TOP STORY >> Planning beyond Thanksgiving

Leader staff writer

As many area readers stuff themselves tomorrow like the turkey on their tables, others are already looking forward to visits from St. Nick at a variety of Christmas festivities.

Christmas in Cabot is making a comeback from last year, when it was canceled for inclement weather.

The event, sponsored by the city’s Advertising and Promotions Commission, will be held from 5 until 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6 in the recently refurbished city hall parking lot.

All the food and activities are free, according to organizer Nancy Cohea. She said Peggy Barker is the brains behind the operation and Alderman Ann Gilliam also helped organize it.

Attendees are encouraged to dress warmly and bring their cameras to take pictures with Santa Claus.

There will also be a merry-go-round, a hayride, entertainment by two bands, several giveaways, hot dogs, cupcakes, cookies, hot chocolate, coffee and punch. Cohea said people should come to Christmas in Cabot because “this is a community thing. It’s bringing the community together for Christmas.”

The Cabot event will also include a tree-lighting ceremony.

Sherwood’s Enchanted Forest Trail of Holiday Lights opens at 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 1. The trail at 1111 W. Maryland Ave. will run from 6 to 9:30 p.m. through Dec. 30.

And Jacksonville is hosting its tree-lighting ceremony that same week, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4.

Sherwood’s 11th Annual Festival of Lights Silent Auction will be held from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5, and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 6 at the Bill Harmon Recreation Center.

The fundraiser for city schools is hosted by the parks and recreation department and the chamber of commerce’s Sherwood Young Professionals.

Donations, monetary and of holiday-themed items, are still needed. For more information, call Misty Heaton or Barbara Hubbard at 501-833-0476.

Sherwood’s Breakfast with Santa is set for 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 13 at Sherwood Forest, 111 W. Maryland Ave. Children 6 and under get in free, while admission for older children is $3.

The Jacksonville Sertoma Club, Rotary Club and Lions Club have already teamed up for the annual Civics for Kids at Christmas Drive. The deadline for donations is Sunday. To donate or for more information, call Ron McDaniel at 501-590-0183.

Checks should be made payable to Jacksonville Sertoma Club, P.O. Box 933, Jacksonville, Ark., 72076.

School counselors and staff will distribute gifts to families in need. Adkins Pre-K, Dupree, Tolleson, Taylor, Bayou Meto, Pinewood, Arnold Drive, Lighthouse Charter and Pathfinder are participating.

Other collection efforts underway include the Christmas for Kids toy drive and the Cabot Christmas Alliance food collection.

The group provides for children of all ages who are enrolled in the Cabot School District and their families.

Monetary donations can be mailed to Christmas for Kids, care of Bill Holden, 110 Gunsmoke Drive, Austin, Ark., 72007.

To tell the group about families who need toys or food, call Terena Woodruff at 501-843-3363, ext. 1018.

To donate toys and arrange a pickup, call Rita Stewart at 501-743-3560 or Bill Holden at 501-843-2152.

Donors may also drop off toys at elementary schools through Dec. 19, by leaving a message for Shelley Montoya at 501-408-1792 or by calling Randy Holden at 501-743-6171.

Two holiday musicals, the 18th Annual Santa Shack and a fundraiser featuring Santa Claus are also planned or underway in Cabot.

The Cabot Community Theatre, which recently relocated to 1102 S. Pine St., will perform “Rented Christmas: The Musical” on Friday, Dec. 5 and Saturday, Dec. 6. Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m., with the show starting at 7:30.

Performances without a meal are set for 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7 and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 11.

Dinner-and-show performances will also be held Friday, Dec. 12 and Saturday, Dec. 13 with the same meal and show times as the first weekend.

For reservations, call 501-941-2266.

Another musical event, “A Cabot Christmas: The Gift,” will be held at Mount Carmel Baptist Church on Saturday, Dec. 13 and Sunday, Dec. 14.

The shows start at 6 p.m. both days.

Free early admission tickets are available. Contact Jennifer Burtts at jennifer.burtts@mcbccabot.com for more details.

The show, according to the church’s website, will explore the real meaning of exchanging gifts during the holidays. It will also feature favorite holiday music by the choir and orchestra in addition to drama, dance, live animals and more.

And donations for the Cabot Police Department’s annual C.O.P.S. Toy Patrol will be collected during the event.

Cabot City Beautiful’s 18th annual Santa Shack will be open from Nov. 28 through Dec. 23 at the Walmart Supercenter.

Kids can sit on Santa’s lap and get a free candy cane, plus have their picture taken with him for a small fee.

Its hours from Nov. 28 through Dec. 21 are 6 until 8 p.m. on Fridays; Saturdays from 9-11 a.m., noon to 2 p.m., 3 to 5 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.; and Sundays from 1 to 3 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. The Santa Shack will also be open from 3 to 5 p.m. and 6 until 8 p.m. Dec. 22-23.

The Cabot Civitan Club is hosting a special night for special needs fundraiser from 5:30 until 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 15 on the second floor of the main First Security Bank branch in Cabot, across from city hall.

The event flier encourages people to “Join us as Santa Claus comes to town to hear the Christmas wishes of the special needs boys and girls in our area.”