Thanksgiving week features cornucopia of events, including holiday markets, downtown lights, Santa rescue, astronomy and more

photo by: John Young/Journal-World Photo

Etta Otter browses treasure balls with her mom, Courtney, both of Lawrence, at the annual Bizarre Bazaar on Friday, Nov. 27, 2015, at the Lawrence Arts Center.

The Holiday Happenings section, included in Thursday’s Lawrence Journal-World and online, includes a comprehensive calendar of seasonal events in and around the Lawrence area. To kick off the holidays, here is a rundown of Thanksgiving weekend events, including a 5K run, light display, shopping opportunities, book-signings and (of course) turkey and pie:


• The 19th annual runLawrence Thanksgiving Day 5K event gets underway at 8 a.m. at Woodland Elementary School, 508 Elm St. This holiday activity invites runners and walkers to follow a route through North Lawrence. The 5K starts at 8:30 a.m., and the 1K fun run at 9:20 a.m. Details at Registration fees benefit local youth running programs.

• The LINK Thanksgiving Dinner will be at 1 p.m. in the basement of the First Christian Church, 1000 Kentucky St. All are welcome for this free and festive meal.


• Continue your holiday shopping in downtown Lawrence, including a stop at Lucia, 1016 Massachusetts St., where the Lawrence Maker’s Market Holiday Pop-Up takes place from 2 to 8 p.m. Friday and noon-6 p.m. Saturday. Handmade and vintage goods, food, music and more.

• More than 200 local artists will sell their works at the annual Bizarre Bazaar, 5-9 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Enjoy browsing and shopping for unique handcrafted items. All ages welcome; free admission. Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St.

• “Lawrence Lights – Making Spirits Bright” returns for 2022 with a tour through a lighted holiday wonderland, featuring twice as many lights as last year. The event continues nightly, 6-9 p.m., through the holiday season; see to sign up for a date and time. Suggested donation is $20 per car. Clinton Lake Youth Sports Complex, 4911 W. 27th St.

• Young and old are welcome at Friday evening’s Holiday Lighting and Santa Rescue, when the jolly old elf will appear on the rooftop of Weaver’s Department Store, 901 Massachusetts St. Events are scheduled to take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m.


• Shoppers can drive out to Pendleton’s Country Market, 1446 East 1850 Road, for the Holiday Open House from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Booths from dozens of local artisans will have unique items for sale; see the list at

• The historic town of Lecompton will offer its annual Christmas Tree Display from now through Jan. 7. You can visit Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.; see for other dates and times.

• Applying for health insurance through the federal marketplace? Need help with the forms? Come to the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St., Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and meet with an application counselor. No registration or appointment needed. The application assistance program will continue through Sunday, Dec. 4; see for full list of dates.

• A treat for book lovers is in store Saturday when local authors hold readings and book-signings at the Raven Book Store, 809 Massachusetts St. Featured authors include: 10 a.m., Tessa Gratton; 11 a.m., Susan Kraus; 12:30 p.m., Erin Jeanne McDowell; 2 p.m., Megan Bannen; and 3:30 p.m., Amanda Sellet. See details and information about the books and authors at

• Van Go’s Adornment Holiday Art Show & Sale holds its Opening Night Saturday, 7-9 p.m.; the sale continues Sunday, 1-5 p.m. at 715 New Jersey St. Items created by young artists will be available in a wide range of prices.


• The public is invited to a ribbon-cutting and special storytime at Lawrence Public Library’s new Picture Book Room. Come celebrate the library’s newest space for young Lawrence readers at 707 Vermont St., 10:30-11 a.m.


• Viewing hours for the Lawrence Festival of Trees begin, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., and continue through the week (hours vary). See or social media for more details on the display and auction at Liberty Hall, 644 Massachusetts St.


• PlanetPalooza! 6-8 p.m., top level of the Vermont Street Parking Garage, 707 Vermont St. The Lawrence Public Library hosts the Astronomy Associates of Lawrence in a planet-viewing event. Viewers will meet atop the parking garage to view Uranus, Neptune, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. All ages, no registration required; dress warmly for this outdoor event.

• Some tickets still remain for Tuesday’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof” at 7:30 p.m. at the Lied Center, 1600 Stewart Drive. See for details.


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