Cirque Christmas is coming to Little Rock, El Dorado

Elsewhere in entertainment, events and arts this weekend:

FUN: Circus Christmas

“A Magical Cirque Christmas” a combination of cirque, comedy, music and magic, takes the stage for two shows in Arkansas: 7:30 p.m. today at Little Rock’s Robinson Center Performance Hall, 426 W. Markham St. – Tickets range from $45 to $67.50; Call (501) 244-8800 or visit ticketmaster.com; and Friday at 7 p.m. at First Financial Music Hall, 101 E. Locust St., El Dorado. — Tickets cost $39-84; Call (870) 444-3007 or visit eldomad.com.

‘Crazy for Ice Cream’

El Dorado’s Murphy Arts District is turning its outdoor amphitheater stage into an ice rink and bringing it back “MAD on Ice” Saturday-Jan 2. Tickets are $14 for unlimited skating per day. Skate rentals, $3, are available in children’s size 8 through men’s size 15. Season passes, which offer unlimited skate time plus skate rentals, are $85, $145 for two. A pay-as-you-go punch card offers a free 10th skate after nine paid trips to the ice. The cost to employ skating assistants/”helpers” Bobby the Seal and Tommy the Reindeer is $5 for a 90 minute cycle. Helmets are provided at no additional cost on a first come, first served basis.

Each skater and spectator must complete a waiver, which will be available online in advance, along with skating hours of operation at eldomad.com/madonice.

photo Argenta Plaza in downtown North Little Rock hosts the fifth Northern Lights celebration on Saturday. (Special issue of the Democrat Gazette/North Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau)
LIGHTING:
Argenta ad

Food trucks and a holiday market featuring local vendors are at the heart of the North Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau, the fifth of the City of North Little Rock and Argenta Downtown Council Holiday Celebration of the Northern Lights, 4-8:30 p.m. Saturday at Argenta Plaza, 510 Main St., North Little Rock. Chris Kennedy, owner of Black Santa ARK LLC, appears as Santa; “Santa’s Workshop” offers free holiday activities for children from 4:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Families can take photos with Santa and the 38-foot Christmas tree. A fireworks display begins at 7:30 am followed by live music. Visit tinyurl.com/24rm8bjf.

Sherwood Trail

Local musicians and Santa will be present at the 5:30pm lighting ceremony and at Sherwood’s 2022 Enchanted Forest Path of Lights opens at 6 p.m. on Friday. The entrance is in the Sherwood Sports Complex parking lot, just past the entrance of the Henson Tennis Center, at 420 Dee Jay Hudson Drive in 107 Arkansas. The drive-through trail is through December 30 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.: 30 p.m. open. Admission is free; Monetary donations help provide new displays and upgrades each year. Call (501) 835-6893 or visit cityofsherwood.net.

night lights

Garvan Woodland Gardens, 550 Arkridge Road, Hot Springs, will host its nightly light show Saturday through December from 4pm to 9pm. 31 (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas days). Tickets must be purchased in advance—$20, $5 for children 4-12, free for children 3 and under and for members. No dogs, wagons or alcohol. Visit garvangardens.org or tinyurl.com/y2suc86t.

Relieve yourself, El Dorado

El Dorado’s Annual Holiday Lighting Ceremony will be held today at 5:30 p.m. on the east side of the Union County Courthouse at 101 N. Washington Ave. will take place, with dance and music performances and Santa Claus, who will act as a volunteer switch thrower and be available for pictures. The Salvation Army is giving out free cookies and hot chocolate. Call (870) 862-4747 or visit MainStreetElDorado.org.

THEATRE: Tour “Anastasia”

A traveling group brings the musical “anastasia” (Music by Stephen Flaherty, Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, Book by Terrence McNally, inspired by the animated film) at the University of Central Arkansas Reynolds Performance Hall, 201 Donaghey Ave., Conway, Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30-$40, students $10. Call (501) 450-3265 or (866) 810-0012 or visit uca.edu/reynolds.

MUSIC: UALR ensembles

The University of Arkansas in the Little Rock Wind Ensemble, along with the UALR Jazz Ensemble and Concert Choir, will perform today at 6:30 p.m. at the Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall, Fine Arts Building, UALR, 2801 S. University Ave., Little Rock. The wind ensemble will perform Ralph Vaughn Williams’ English Folk Song Suite. The Jazz Ensemble will perform Charles Mingus’ “Nostalgia in Times Square”; Student Christian Waldren will perform solo with the band in “Sway”. The concert choir joins the wind ensemble for conductor Michael Underwood’s arrangement of Jupiter from Gustav Holst’s The Planets. Admission is free. Call (501) 916-3291 or email [email protected]

photo “Sunlight on Snake River” by Jenni Duncan is part of the Arkansas Pastel Society’s juried membership exhibition at Argenta Library in North Little Rock. (Special issue of the Democrat Gazette)
ART:
pastel exhibition

Pastel works by more than two dozen local artists are on display as well Exhibit of judging members of the Arkansas Pastel Society, which will open with an Art Walk reception on the third Friday from 5pm to 8pm on Friday at the Argenta Library Gallery, 420 Main St., North Little Rock. The exhibition will remain open until December 9th. The opening hours of the gallery are Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission to the gallery and reception is free. Call (501) 687-1061 or visit NLRLibrary.org.

“Therapeutic” Works

Acansa Gallery, 413A Main St., North Little Rock, features artists who are members of Birch Tree Communities statewide and living with serious mental illnesses in an exhibit beginning Friday from 5-8 p.m. with an Argenta Third Friday Art Walk reception will be shown. The exhibition will remain open until December 10th. All proceeds from the sale of artwork go directly to the artist. Birch Tree Communities uses painting, drawing, creative writing and music in the recovery process for members to build confidence and self-esteem and to provide an outlet for expressing and communicating emotions “in a safe and powerful way,” according to a press release. Call (501) 529-7390 or (501) 315-3344 or email [email protected] or [email protected]

DANCE: Jonesboro ‘Nutcracker’

Jonesboro’s Foundation of Arts stages Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker,” 7:30 p.m. Friday, 6 p.m. Saturday, Monday and Tuesday, and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Forum Theater, 115 East Monroe Ave., Jonesboro. Sponsor is NEA Baptist. Tickets are $16-20, $15-19 for seniors, children, military and students, faculty and staff at Arkansas State University. The Sunday matinee is “pay what you can”. Call (870) 935-2726 or visit foajonesboro.org.

ETC.: Sale of used books

The Central Arkansas Library System is holding its final year in 2022 Friends of CALS used book sales, Friday 10am-6pm and Saturday 10am-4pm, in the basement of the system’s main library, 100 Rock St., Little Rock. Friends of CALS members can shop earlier. Today from 5pm to 7pm and also get 50% off ‘soft read’ books at the Galleries & Bookstore in Library Square, today from 10am to 5pm. Purchase a Friends membership online at cals.org/about-friends, in person during book sales, or at any CALS location.

Most books are $1 for paperbacks and $2 for hardcovers. Book bags are for sale. What book sales raise supports library programs, including the Six Bridges Book Festival, book club kits, Arkansas Sounds concerts, branch programs, Summer Reading Club, and youth programs. Call (501) 918-3000 or visit cals.org.

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