Destinations & Diversions: Holiday festivities crank up this weekend

Thursday, November 19, 2015
Wanda Holt, Teri and Don Locke, and Tonya Davis dance at the 2014 Chamber of Commerce Holiday Mixer. This year's event will be 5-7 p.m. Tuesday at the Blue Ribbon Circle. Reservations should be made by Friday by calling the Chamber office at 684-3482 or e-mailing (T-G File Photo by David Melson)

The 21st Annual Shelbyville-Bedford County Chamber of Commerce Holiday Mixer will be held Tuesday from 5-7 p.m. at the Blue Ribbon Circle. Reservations should be made by Friday by calling the Chamber office at 684-3482 or e-mailing

Christmas village

The Bedford County Fair Christmas Village will be Saturday at the National Guard Armory on South Cannon Boulevard (Fayetteville Highway).

Festival of Trees

The Fly Arts Center on South Main Street will host its annual Festival of Trees Saturday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

More than a bake sale

First Presbyterian Church Women of the Church will host "More Than A Bake Sale" on Saturday from 9 a.m. until noon at the church. Baked goods, canned goods, and many other items will be for sale. Ten Thousand Villages, an organization that helps provide wages to artisans in developing countries, will have scarves, jewelry, Christmas items, baskets, and many other items for sale also.

Luncheon and bazaar

The United Methodist Women at First United Methodist Church on the square will host the church's annual luncheon and holiday bazaar Friday from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Tickets for the event are $12 and can be purchased from the church office or any UMW member. Parking will be available at Big Springs Shopping Center, with a shuttle van running from the shopping center to the church.

Star of Bethlehem

Local science educator Billy Hix will present "The Christmas Star; An Astronomer's Journey" 6 p.m. Sunday at Edgemont Baptist Church. The program is a scientific exploration of the Star of Bethlehem using historical documents and computer simulations. As part of the program, Hix will present a computer simulation of the night sky in Bethlehem over 2,000 years ago, the night sky as it looked to the Magi as they made their way following the star.

The program is free and open to the public.

'Jungle Book'

Community Middle School students will present the play "The Jungle Book" Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m.

Music at the VFW

The third-Saturday music night at the VFW hall on Depot Street will take place this Saturday from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., with doors opening at 5:30. James Smotherman and Friends will be featured, but all acoustic instruments are welcome. Admission is $3. A covered-dish supper will be held. No alcohol or outside beverages are permitted. For more information, call 931-607-3149 or 931-684-2523.

Ham breakfast

The Senior Citizens Center's fall country ham breakfast fundraiser will be held Saturday from 7 to 10 a.m. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased ahead of time at 111 J.G. Helton Drive or at the door the day of the event. Carry outs will be available. For more information, call 684-0019.

Open house

Eakin Elementary is having a Christmas open house on Friday from 5-7pm. All families of Eakin students are invited. Students can get their photo made with Santa and enjoy hot chocolate, games, and Christmas crafts.

Turkey, ham shoot

Hickory Hill UMC will hold a turkey and ham shoot Saturday from 10 a.m. to whenever at the corner of U.S. 41A North and Hickory Hill Church Road. Lunch will be served. Call 639-1618 for more information.

Garden club

The Weed'em and Reap garden club social meeting will be held at Legends at 6:30 p.m. on Friday.

SCV meeting

Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Cheatham Camp 72 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will meet Tuesday night at the Oak Restaurant in Manchester. Dinner will be at 6 p.m. with the meeting at 7.

November's program will be by Dr. Al Brandon, who will discuss medical procedures used during the war. For more information, go to

Meetings are open to the general public. Membership in the Sons of Confederate Veterans is open to all males 12 years of age and above who had an ancestor that served honorably in the Confederate Armed Forces or the Confederate Congress and can prove kinship either lineal or collaterally. Help is available to anyone interested in finding and proving kinship.

Adult coloring books

Adult coloring books are all the rage, and Middle Tennessee artist Betsy Karounos will sign and discuss her book "Heroines of the Bible" at a coloring party 6:30 p.m. Monday at Parnassus Books in Nashville.

The book is the first in a new series of adult coloring books by Karounos, published by Faithwords.

The store is located at 3900 Hillsboro Pike.

Karounos' complex style shines through the 70 illustrations in "Heroines of the Old Testament," which highlight strong female characters of the Bible. The patterns, portraits, botanical scenes, and bonus artist tips offer religious audiences a unique opportunity to both relax and worship through their arts and crafts.

The next book in the series will be -- not surprisingly -- "Heroines of the New Testament," due out in the fall of 2016.

Russian decorative arts

In conjunction with the exhibit "The Tsars' Cabinet: Two Hundred Years of Russian Decorative Arts Under the Romanovs," the Huntsville Museum of Art in Huntsville, Ala., will present a Russian Art Traditions Family Day this Sunday from 2-3:30 p.m.

The traveling exhibition, open now through Jan. 3, highlights two centuries of Imperial Russian decorative arts from the time of Peter the Great in the mid-18th century to that of Nicholas II in the early 20th century. More than 200 works are featured, including magnificent examples of Russian porcelain and glassware services and elaborate objects from the illustrious Fabergé and Ovchinnikov firms.

Beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday in the museum's Great Hall, visitors will enjoy the Huntsville Ballet Company as it performs a vignette from its 47th annual production of "The Nutcracker." Seating is limited.

Families will also have fun making Russian star ornaments, Matryoshka dolls (nesting dolls), and Imperial Eggs to take home. All materials will be provided. The program is free to all.

The museum's hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to‚Ä'5 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m. to‚Ä'8 p.m.; Sunday, 12-5 p.m.; and closed Mondays.

Special admission during this exhibition is $12 for adult, non-members; $10 for active military, teachers, and seniors (60+) with a valid ID; $5 for children age 6 and up and students; and $8 per person for groups of 10 or more. Museum members and children 5 and under are admitted free.

For more information go to or call 256-535-4350.

Ice skating

Also at the Huntsville Museum of Art, the fourth annual "Skating in the Park" will open 4 p.m. Friday and run through Jan. 4.

Located directly behind the museum in Downtown Huntsville, the ice rink will be open seven days a week, including holidays. Concessions and outdoor restrooms will be available on site. Special skate events are also planned.

"Skating in the Park has become a holiday tradition for Huntsville residents and visitors to the Rocket City," Christopher J. Madkour, museum executive director, said. "It is very rewarding to see downtown so alive and full of families," Madkour added, "and we can't thank the City of Huntsville and our loyal sponsors enough for their continued support in helping to make this happen."

Dabsey Maxwell, current Foundation board president, added that with the addition of a 2002 Mini Zamboni, or ice resurfacer, this year, the rink staff will be better able to keep the ice in good skating condition.

Rink hours will be Monday through Thursday 4 to 10 p.m.; Friday 4 p.m. to midnight; Saturday 10 a.m. to midnight; and Sunday noon to 8 p.m.

The rink will open with extended hours during the week of the Thanksgiving holiday and during the area schools' Christmas break. Visitors can also skate on Christmas Day and New Year's Day from 2 until 10 p.m.

Admission will be $10 per person for ages 9 and up, $5 for ages 8 and under, and $8 per person for groups of 10 or more. Skaters have the option to rent skates for $3 and scooters for $5. Skaters may also use their own ice skates.

To inquire about scheduling a birthday party or other group outing, email Candace Bean at, or call 256-535-4350, ext. 223.

For more information, visit or call 256-529-7995 for the rink's direct line or 256-535-4350 for the museum's main line. Weather related closings and delays will be posted on the Skating in the Park Facebook page at

Tennessee Aquarium

The Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga will be offering some fun new programs to delight kids from one to 92 during "Holidays Under the Peaks," beginning Friday and continuing through January 3.

In addition to more than one dozen Extraordinary Experience programs offered free with Aquarium admission each day, new holiday programs will be offered each week.

View the complete daily program schedule, with the weekly list of featured "Holidays Under the Peaks" programs at or download the free Tennessee Aquarium mobile app.

Admission is to the aquarium is $29.95 per adult and $18.95 per child, ages 3-12. The IMAX 3D Theater is next door to the Aquarium and has a separate ticket price. Combo tickets are also available.

Advance tickets may be purchased online at or by phone at 800-262-0695.