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Get in the holiday spirit this week

December 11th, 2011 6:32 pm by staff report

With less than two weeks to go until Christmas morning, chances are most of us are so busy shopping, decorating, baking and wrapping, it may not seem like there’s much time left for anything else.

But with so many Christmas events still going on in our area this week, you may want to try to squeeze in a little fun somewhere along the way.


• “O Christmas Tree!” is under way at The Fields-Penn 1860 House Museum in Abingdon, Va., where trees decorated by local organizations will remain on display from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., each day through Old Christmas, Jan. 6, 2012. Visitors can vote for their favorite by placing a non-perishable food item for people or animals beside the tree they like best. Donations of canned goods will be given to the Faith in Action food pantry and the Animal Defense League. Admission is free. Call (276) 676-0216.

• Community Christmas Inc. will present the 18th-year celebration of “The Heart of Christmas” at 7 p.m., today at Barter Theatre. Funds raised by the project are used to provide food for local low-income families during the holiday season as well as the remainder of the year. This year’s program — “CELEBRATE LOCAL: Season Sounds and Joys!” — will feature regional entertainers such as Katie Tuck, Bella Voce, HB Beverly, the Taylor Barker Band, Wendy and John Welch, Sandra Parker, the East Tennessee Children’s Choir and more. Tickets are $15 and will be available at the door. Call (276) 628-9999.


• The Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park in Big Stone Gap, Va., will present its annual Festival of Trees during regular museum hours, through Dec. 31. A special night viewing will be held on Saturday, Dec. 17. Admission is $4 for adults; $2 for children ages 6-12; and free for children younger than 6. Group rates are available for parties of 10 or more. Call (276) 523-1322.


• Speedway in Lights continues its 15th season through Jan. 7, 2012, at Bristol Motor Speedway. The show features millions of lights and hundreds of displays around a 4.5-mile drive-through route that allows spectators to take a lap around the World’s Fastest-Half Mile as well as tour the Bristol Dragway. Hours are 6 to 10 p.m., daily. Tickets for cars are $10, Sunday through Thursday, and $12, Friday and Saturday. Activity van tickets are $15 each night; bus tickets are $65 each night. Call (423) 989-6900.

• Historic Downtown Bristol will hold its annual Journey’s End event at 6:30 p.m., Dec. 13, beginning at the Downtown Center. Inclement weather date is Dec. 15. Journey’s End is the local interpretation of the Latino tradition of “Las Posadas,” or “The Inn.” Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem is recreated as they go from inn to inn, seeking lodging. The final inn welcomes them and celebrates their arrival. The inns are the restaurants on State Street, and the innkeepers are choirs and choral groups.


• Natural Tunnel State Park’s “8 Days of Christmas” will continue from 6 to 9 p.m., every Friday and Saturday, through Dec. 17. Visitors to the park will see thousands of Christmas Lights as they ride the chair lift down to the mouth of the tunnel. Local church choirs and performers will provide entertainment; and hot chocolate and other seasonal snacks will be available for purchase. Call (276) 940-1643.


• Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area will hold a Christmas Tree and Art Show throughout December. Trees decorated and donated by local businesses and organizations along with artwork from the Watauga Valley Art League will be on display inside the visitors center through Jan. 4. Admission is free.


• The Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center will offer a free daily exhibition of 10-foot cypress Christmas trees, donated and decorated by area organizations, merchants and residents. The trees will be on display through Dec. 31. Admission is free. Call (423) 753-1010.

• The Town of Jonesborough will hold a Spirit of Christmas Stroll from 5 to 8 p.m., Dec. 17 throughout town.


• The Town of Wise, Va., will hold a Sunday afternoon caroling event at 3 p.m., Dec. 18 at the Big Glades Community Square. Refreshments will follow at the Wise Masonic Hall.

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