published Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Holiday cheer all around us - Dec. 6-9

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    Instructor Dorothy Dale has scheduled two classes to teach beginners how to make ornaments out of greeting cards. Classes will be held 10 a.m.-noon today, Dec. 5, and 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 (all times central) at the Shanks Center for the Arts 140 Main St., Crossville, Tenn. The class is for adults and youth who are able to cut patterns accurately. Some cards will be available, but participants are encouraged to bring their own. The fee is $15 for either class. To inquire about space availability, call 931-787-1936.

The December calendar is filling up. Here are some highlights.

* Bicycle roundup: Dynamic Church is partnering with The Salvation Army to solicit 500 bikes during a 36-hour Love Gives Wheels Bicycle Drive at Walmart, 2020 Gunbarrel Road. From 5 a.m. Friday, Dec. 6, to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, church members and community leaders will “live” in a 40-foot lift to get donations. Purchase price for each bike is $50. Donate on-site or at www.LoveGivesWheels.com. Free festival activities also will be available, such as a mobile video-game trailer, balloon artist and photos with Santa and superheroes. 706-247-1736.

* Candlelight tours: Reenactors in period costume will illustrate “A Civil War Christmas” during candlelight tours the next three weekends at the Marsh House, 308 N. Main St., LaFayette, Ga. Historians say the town managed to celebrate Christmas in spite of being occupied by Northern troops. Some grandchildren of the homeowners, neighbors and servants showed up on Christmas Eve because they couldn’t stand the thought of the old house lying empty and dark on that night. Tours will show how they turned a dismal day into a festive party. Tours are offered 6-8 p.m. the next three Saturdays and Sundays: Dec. 7-8, 14-15, 21-22. Admission: $5 adults, $1 children. Proceeds go to the Walker County Historical Society-Marsh House Task Force for upkeep of the house. 706-539-2324.

* Candles and Carols: Martha Berry’s historic Oak Hill home and Martha Berry Museum will be open for tours, gardens illuminated with thousands of lights, photos with Santa and carolers, 6-8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Dec 6-7. Park at 1825 Martha Berry Blvd. Admission: $10 adults, $5 children 12 and younger. www.oakhillmuseum.com.

* Christmas Bazaar: Northwest Georgia Arts Guild sponsors a gift market, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturdays, Dec. 7 and 14; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21, at Mars Theatre, 117 N. Chattanooga St., LaFayette, Ga. 423-315-4335.

* Christmas cruises: Take a break from the holiday hustle and bustle with a ‘Tis the Season luncheon cruise aboard the Southern Belle. The two-hour outings include a buffet and musicians playing Christmas tunes. They’re offered at 1 p.m. the next three weekends: Dec. 6-8, 13-14, 20-21. Or take the kids for Breakfast With Santa cruises, which offer not only a pancake breakfast with Santa Claus but a magic show. The boat leaves Ross’s Landing at 9:30 a.m. the next three Saturdays, Dec. 7, 14 and 21. Cost is $22.95 adults, $11.95 children 3-12. Christmas carol dinner cruises also continue at various times through Dec. 21. Tickets are $42.95 and $21.95. The adults-only Tacky Christmas Sweater Cruise is at 11 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. Cost is $15 (21 and older). 423-266-4488, www.chattanoogariverboat.com.

* Christmas trains: Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum will operate Holiday Dinner Trains the next three Saturdays: Dec. 7, 14, 21. Trips include a four-course meal in a restored 1924 dining car, departing at 6 p.m. (plus 8 p.m. this Saturday only) from Grand Junction Station, 4119 Cromwell Road. Tickets are $60 and $65. North Pole Limited Rides continue every Friday through Sunday until Dec. 22. Tickets are $24 for ages 1 and up. 423-894-8028, www.tvrail.com.

* Fair-trade shopping: Amani ya Juu, a nonprofit sewing and training program for marginalized women in Africa, will hold its Fair-Trade Christmas Sale from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today through Saturday, Dec. 5-7, at its Chattanooga warehouse, 420 S. Willow St. Event coordinator Molly Gardner says discount prices will be offered on select Amani items during the sale. “As with any Amani purchase,” she says, “the proceeds will go directly toward our production locations in Africa.” Among the one-of-a-kind products available are handbags, home and kitchen decor, jewelry and children’s items handcrafted from African materials. 423-531-6496.

* Gift wrapping:

— The Hixson High School Band Boosters’ gift-wrapping booth is up and running at Northgate Mall in Hixson. Find it near the Santa station in front of Sears. 423-847-4800.

— Chattanooga’s Kids on the Block will open two gift-wrapping locations at Hamilton Place, 2100 Hamilton Place Blvd., on Friday, Dec. 6. The upstairs booth will be across from the mall’s Tourist Information Center; the downstairs booth is in front of JCPenney. 423-757-5259.

* Holiday Home Tour: Six homes in Sweetwater, Tenn., are decorated for the holidays and open for visitors as a fundraiser for the Sweetwater Valley Citizens for the Arts, 3-7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8. $10 tickets available at Sweetwater City Hall, 203 Monroe St., and historic Biggs house, 820 Main St. 423-337-5976.

* Holidays in Lights: Visitors to Chattanooga Zoo, 301 N. Holtzclaw Ave., the next two weekends will see grounds illuminated with Christmas lights, can take part in children’s craft activities and watch animals unwrap their presents. Hours: 5:30-8 pm. Fridays-Saturdays, Dec. 6-7 and 13-14. Free with regular admission: $8.95 adults, $5.95 children ages 3-12. 423-643-5710.

* Holiday Market: Red Bank United Methodist Church, 3800 Dayton Blvd., features handmade products and specialty items from direct-selling companies, 3-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6; 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. 423-877-2881.

* Pet photos: PetSmart’s annual Santa Claws in-store photo event will be held in all PetSmart stores in the area from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. the next two Saturdays, Dec. 7 and 14. Owners can bring a camera to take a photo of their pet with Santa, then donate $5 at checkout to benefit local animal welfare groups. www.PetSmart.com.

* Share Your Christmas: WRCB TV’s 29th annual food drive for the Chattanooga Area Food Bank and other charities will take place in three locations 4:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6 (rain or shine). Bring food and/or cash donations to First Tennessee Pavilion, 1829 Reggie White Blvd. in Chattanooga; Life Care Center’s Campbell Campus, 3001 Keith St. NW in Cleveland, Tenn.; or First Baptist Church, 311 N. Thornton Ave. in Dalton, Ga. Can’t make it? Look for bins at area Bi-Lo and Publix grocery stores or donate online at www.chattfoodbank.org.

* Stories With Mrs. Claus: Gather around the fireplace in the Visitors Center at Enterprise South Nature Park on Volkswagen Drive for classic Christmas stories at 7 p.m. the next two Fridays: Dec. 6 and 13. Cookies and milk will be served. Children are welcome to wear their pajamas and bring a pillow and blanket. Space is limited to 30 children each night, so reservations are required. Call Hamilton County Parks and Recreation, 423-842-6748.

* Wine tasting: “Gift Wines Under $20” is the final installment of this year’s Tasting Series at Back Inn Cafe, 412 E. Second St., set for 6:30-8:30 p.m. today, Dec. 5. The Bluff View Art District’s wine director, Michael Vasta, plans an evening of “premium flavors at optimum prices.” Each wine selection is paired with culinary dishes from chef Buck Oglesby, and all guests receive a buying guide for locally available wines along with pairing recipes. Cost is $37. Call 423-265-5033, ext. 3, to see if space is still available.

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