It may be crunch time at the North Pole, but Santa Claus will take time out to land atop a downtown department store Thursday evening.
In what has become a Lawrence tradition, ol' St. Nick will usher in the holiday season from the roof of Weaver's Department Store, 901 Mass.
And this year he'll travel with more than a red suit and white beard. Mrs. Claus is along for the ride, too.
"He's bringing some of his elves, too," said Lisa Blair, administrator of Downtown Lawrence Inc., which sponsors the event.
The Kringles will be "rescued" from the rooftop by firefighters at 6 p.m., then stick around to discuss who's been naughty and nice until 8 p.m. Music, pictures and trolley rides begin at 5:30 p.m.
Santa will keep regular hours at his shop in front of Mercantile Bank, Ninth and Massachusetts: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays.
- Festival of Poinsettias, citywide, through Dec. 31.
- Festival of Trees, Liberty Hall, 642 Mass. The eighth annual benefit features 54 decorated trees, which will be auctioned at 8 p.m. Tuesday to benefit The Shelter Inc., a non-profit organization providing emergency residential care to children ages 12 to 17, as well as crisis intervention services and referrals to children and their families. Public viewing: until 8:30 p.m. today; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday; and 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.
- Old Fashioned Parade, 11 a.m. Sunday, Massachusetts Street. Eighty trolleys, stagecoaches and horse-drawn carriages cruise downtown, beginning at the Eldridge Hotel, 701 Mass., the parade's sponsor. A downtown open house follows, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- Holiday Musical Jamboree, 6 p.m. Sunday, Haskell Auditorium. Benefit for Toys for Tots. Admission: a new, unwrapped toy.