A December to remember
HUNTINGTON — As we turn the calendar to December on Saturday, this weekend ushers in a herd of holiday fun here in Huntington, from the Friday-night start of Heritage Farm’s Christmas Village and the city’s Christmas parade on Saturday, to more than a dozen other must-see events.
Here’s a look at a whole lotta Christmas all rushing in this weekend.
Go green this Christmas and kick off the holiday party weekend on campus as Marshall University invites the community to celebrate a Herd Holiday from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, in the Memorial Student Center.
The annual event features the official holiday lighting on the Memorial Student Center plaza as well as snacks, giveaways, music and more. The event is sponsored by Marshall’s Office of University Communications and Student Affairs.
Christmas Village at Heritage Farm
They are leaving the lights on for you in Huntington’s West End as Heritage Farm Museum & Village, 3300 Harvey Road, hosts its third annual Christmas Village for the next three weekends.
The Christmas Village, which runs from 5 to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 7-8 and 14-15, showcases the log cabin village lit in holiday lights and filled with the sounds, sights and smells of the season. Enjoy a live Nativity scene, Christmas performances from local school groups, a wagon train ride, plenty of goodies to eat and artisans selling one-of-a-kind gifts.
Come hungry and be patient as last year’s event drew more than 8,000 people over the multiple-weekend run.
There’s live music inside the historic church as well as Heritage Hall. Cabell Midland High School performs Nov. 30 while Wayne Elementary School performs Dec. 1. Tickets are $10, $5 for kids and under and children younger than 2 get in for free. Get tickets at the gate or online at www.HeritageFarmMuseum.com.
Christmas Parade of Lights
Huntington’s third annual Christmas Parade of Lights kicks off at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, rolling through the heart of downtown.
Marshall University’s mascot, Marco the Bison, will serve as the grand marshal of the parade, which is organized by Downtown Live, a committee of the Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce.
The annual Huntington Christmas Parade of Lights is presented by Dutch Miller Auto with support from HD Media, iHeart Communications and WOWK TV-13.
The parade will begin on 4th Avenue and 12th Street and end at 3rd Avenue and 11th Street. Pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus, along with refreshments, will be hosted at Huntington’s Kitchen, 911 3rd Ave., following the parade.
For an application to register an organization to participate, contact the Chamber at 304-525-5131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holiday Open House at HMOA
Head up to the Huntington Museum of Art from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2 when Camden Park Presents Holiday Open House. Admission is free, but visitors are encouraged to bring nonperishable food to benefit the Facing Hunger Foodbank and warm clothes for the Cridlin Food and Clothing Pantry.
Holiday Open House features the Art on a Limb exhibit of trees with hand-painted palettes and ornaments created by local artists. Holiday Open House also includes a visit from Santa; children’s art activities; entertainment; and refreshments.
Tri-State Youth Orchestra performs at 1 p.m.; Huntington Dance Theatre presents excerpts from “The Nutcracker” at 1:30 p.m.; Cabell Midland Collegium Musicum performs at 2 p.m.; Santa Claus arrives at 2:15 p.m.; and Wayne Elementary Honor Choir performs at 3 p.m.
For more information, visit www.hmoa.org or call 304-529-2701.
Cookies with Santa and Superheroes
See Santa and Superheroes in one fell swoop as Ronald McDonald House Charities of Huntington hosts Cookies with Santa and Superheroes from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, from 9 until 11 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Huntington.
The fundraiser costs $5 and offers cookies, hot chocolate and opportunities to take photos with Santa and superheroes from Heroes4Higher.
Proceeds benefit Ronald McDonald House, a home away from home for families with children facing life-threatening illnesses. Each guest who attends will be helping sponsor a family’s stay.
For more information, call 304-529-1122 or email jaye@RMHChuntington.org.
Ha Ha Ha, Ho Ho Ho
Head over to the Press Club, 1212 4th Ave., where they are hosting “The Bad Santa Comedy Show” at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1.
Join popular regional comic Chris “Shank” Shanklin as he hosts a night of comedy with featured comic Marcus Davis, who is coming over from Cincinnati to headline a bill that also includes Andrew Bess, Josh McDonald, Michelle Payton, Alic Sheeves and Teresa L. Stevens.
Cover is $5 or an unopened toy.
Go online at https://www.facebook.com/pressclubwv/.
Holiday house tours
Get some great holiday decorating ideas the old-fashioned way — by visiting neighbors — during Huntington’s annual Holiday Candlelight House Tours from 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2.
Seven beautiful homes located mainly around Ritter Park are scheduled to be visited on the tour.
Tickets are $15 before the event or $20 at the homes unless purchased from the holiday gift shop at Heritage Station. All proceeds with go to vet the homeless animals at the CWA Animal Shelter.
Get advance tickets at The Red Door, Spurlock’s Flowers, Cabell-Huntington Convention Bureau in Heritage Station, The Wild Flower Gallery in the Market, Justice Supply, The Barboursville Business Bureau or contact Advocates Saving Adoptable Pets (ASAP) on Facebook.
Call Martha Cummings at 304-417-0562 for more info.
Candlelight holiday service
Spring Hill Cemetery and the Greater Huntington Park & Recreation District invite the community to its Spring Hill Cemetery’s annual holiday candlelight service at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. Luminarias will be available and can be placed by cemetery staff for those individuals who are unable to attend the ceremony in person but wish to participate in honoring a lost loved one. Call Spring Hill Cemetery to make arrangements to have a luminaria placed for you if you are unable to attend. The service is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.
For more information on the Spring Hill Cemetery annual holiday candlelight service, call 304-696-5516 or email email@example.com.
Caroling with the Herd
Marshall University’s Choral Union presents a concert of festive Christmas carols at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, at First United Methodist Church, 1124 5th Ave., Huntington.
The Choral Union, directed by Deborah Bradley, will be joined by the Musical Arts Guild in Huntington, as well as the University Singers, under the direction of Dr. Briana Nannen. They will also be assisted by Lincoln Brass and Dr. Johan Botes on organ.
The program will feature a variety of traditional Christmas carols in unique and lively arrangements. Featured soloists will be Marshall voice majors Shelby Gerlach, Cayce Murphy, Neeley Jeffery and Bryce Dale.
The event is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a meet-and-greet reception.
Renaissance begins Christmas tour on Dec. 1
Renaissance, the Huntington-based choral group, will be spreading Christmas joy throughout the Tri-State area as they present their 33rd annual Christmas concert, “The Story Never Changes.”
Started by Janice Chandler Gold back in 1985, the all-volunteer group sings mostly a cappella music and brings new concerts each season.
Now under the direction of Sherry White, who also accompanies the group on piano, Renaissance will be presenting six concerts this holiday season.
At 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, the group will be at Grace Gospel Church, 1111 Adams Ave., Huntington, and will be performing at Baptist Temple, 902 21st St., Huntington, at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3. All concerts are free and open to the public.
Other concerts (all begin at 7:30 p.m.) are Dec. 8, at Steele Memorial United Methodist Church, 733 Shaw St., Barboursville, Dec. 10 at Fifth Avenue Baptist Church, 1135 5th Ave., Huntington; Dec. 17 at Highlawn Presbyterian Church, 2814 Collis Ave., Huntington, and Dec. 20 at Beverly Hills United Methodist Church, 2600 Washington Blvd., Huntington.
Annual Countdown to Christmas Extravaganza
Stop by the Big Sandy Superstore Arena Conference Center from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, as they are teaming up with Barn Beauty Love to host a craft and goods fare called The Second Annual Countdown to Christmas Extravaganza. Come on out for shopping with more than 50 small businesses, live entertainment and pictures with Santa.
They will be taking donations (monetary, nonperishable food, pet supplies and new toys) at the Barn Beauty Love booth. All donations will be distributed to local families and organizations in need. However, donations are not necessary for admission. To reserve a vendor space or for general information, email Tiffany at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nat King Cole chestnuts roasting with a symphonic fire
What’s better than two-time Grammy winner Gregory Porter firing up some of those tasty and unforgettable Nat King Cole classics? Porter doing all that with a 60-piece orchestra, that’s what.
The Marshall Artists Series, which has reeled in everyone from Kathy Mattea to Wynton Marsalis to usher in the holidays, brings in another internationally renowned performer as soulful jazz singer-songwriter Gregory Porter brings his tribute to Nat King Cole at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center stage at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, in front of a 60-piece orchestra.
Porter kicks off the holiday season by paying tribute to Cole, one of the all-time greats. Through his most recent album “Nat King Cole & Me,” Porter revisits some of Cole’s most cherished classics such as “Smile,” “L-O-V-E,” “Nature Boy,” and “The Christmas Song.” Porter also will perform some holiday favorites as well.
Tickets are $76. $57 and $38 by calling 304-696-6656. Order online at Ticketmaster.com or visit the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse box office noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.