Upcoming events include horse parade and other seasonal activities, as well as art, history, music and more

photo by: Mike Yoder

The Dunn’s Landing coach from Wellsville brings up the rear of the Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade on Saturday, Dec. 4., 2021, in downtown Lawrence.

Editor’s Note: This article was corrected to reflect to the proper information for Friday’s cinema series event at the Lawrence Arts Center.

Seasonal offerings abound this weekend, with the annual horse-drawn parade as a popular highlight. Opportunities are available for children and adults in crafts, music, theater and other events. Tucked in among the holiday happenings are a birdseed sale, movie showings, stargazing and a meeting of concerned citizens on the proposed future of a historic KU structure.


• A sparkling spectacle of Christmas trees awaits you at Liberty Hall, 10 a.m.-9 p.m., as the annual Festival of Trees continues its viewing hours. Additional opportunities are Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. A donation of $5 is suggested.

• The classic story of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” opens at 7:30 p.m. at Theatre Lawrence, 4660 Bauer Farm Drive. Additional performance times along with ticket information available at theatrelawrence.com.

• The Lawrence Arts Center’s Microcinema Series presents “Gremlins” at 7 p.m. at the 10th and Mass Studios, 1000 Massachusetts St.


• While waiting for the start of the parade, bring your children to “Tails and Traditions,” 9-11 a.m., at the Watkins Museum of History, 1047 Massachusetts St. This pre-parade event, now in its 10th year, offers children the chance to make holiday crafts and join in a scavenger hunt.

• Artisans and vendors will have items for sale at the Holiday Extravaganza Arts & Crafts Fair, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Sports Pavilion Lawrence, 100 Rock Chalk Lane. The event is free and open to the public.

• In all the holiday excitement, don’t forget to feed the birds! The Jayhawk Audubon Society presents its Bird Seed Sale, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., at the Senior Resource Center, 745 Vermont St. Pre-orders available at www.jayhawkaudubon.org/seed-sale.

• The annual Festival of Nativities begins, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., with a display of more than 300 nativities from all around the world. The exhibit continues Sunday, noon-4 p.m., and the following two weekends. Admission is free, but donations accepted; see https://lawrencecentenary.org/28172-2/ for specific needs as well as contact information for special group viewing times. Lawrence Centenary United Methodist Church, 245 N. Fourth St., North Lawrence.

• Children get an opportunity to hand-dip their own holiday candle at the free Kiddie Candle Dipping event, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at Waxman Candles, 609 Massachusetts St.

• The popular Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade starts at 11 a.m. in downtown Lawrence. Authentic horse-drawn conveyances will proceed down Massachusetts Street. See https://lawrencechristmasparade.org for more parade details, including parking recommendations.

• Christian McWhirter, the historian at President Abraham Lincoln’s Library and Museum, will be at the Territorial Capital Museum in Lecompton. McWhirter will present a program at 11 a.m. on Lincoln’s travels to Kansas in 1860, the purpose of his visit and what Lincoln hoped to accomplish.

• The Lawrence Humane Society and McCarthy Subaru of Lawrence join in hosting Pet Photos with Santa, 2-5 p.m., at McCarthy Subaru, 2101 W. 29th Terrace. Bring your furry friends! Digital photos are $20; proceeds go to the Lawrence Humane Society.

• Dressing up for the parade? Adults in Santa outfits will be gathering at 2 p.m. for SantaCon 2022 at the Sandbar, 17 E. Eighth St. This annual pub crawl will kick off with a group Santa photo in front of the Sandbar before proceeding to other Lawrence taverns. Additional costumes available. Donations are welcome for the benefit of 100 Good Women.

• Local preservation experts and other interested members of the public are invited to meet, 2-4 p.m., to learn about the University of Kansas’ plan to vacate and possibly demolish historic Smith Hall on the KU campus. See lawrencepreservation.org for more information.

• Prairie Park Nature Center will host a Winter Wonderland, 5-8 p.m. Come and enjoy crafts, carols and cocoa while visiting the animals. Reservations required; see http://bit.ly/ppncwinterwonderland.

• The Boys of the Prairie make their long-awaited return to S&S Artisan Pub & Coffeehouse at 7 p.m. Refresh your ears with some Celtic tunes, 2228 Iowa St.


• Interested in joining in some holiday music-making? The Americana Music Academy presents a Community Carol Sing at noon at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St. A group of volunteer musicians will provide songbooks for the singing public.

• Baker University presents its Christmas Candlelight Vespers at 2 p.m. at Rice Auditorium, 404 Eighth St., on the Baker campus, Baldwin City. Another performance will be given at 5 p.m.

• The 98th annual KU Vespers holds a matinee performance at 2:30 p.m. and an evening concert at 7:30 p.m., both at the Lied Center, 1600 Stewart Drive. Vespers admission is free, but tickets are required; see lied.ku.edu for information.

• Astronomy Associates of Lawrence invites members of the public to a telescope observing event, beginning at 8 p.m., at the Baker University Wetlands and Discovery Center, 1365 N. 1250 Road. Keep an eye on social media for possible weather-related changes.


• “Pulling for a Change” horse-and-carriage rides are available Monday and Tuesday (weather permitting), 4:30-8 p.m. Donations of $10 per person ($40 per family) benefit the O’Connell Children’s Shelter. Rides begin and end at the Eldridge Hotel, Seventh and Massachusetts streets.


• KU’s Symphonic Band presents a concert at 7:30 p.m. at the Lied Center, 1600 Stewart Drive. Tickets available at lied.ku.edu.


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