Christmas events and ugly sweaters fill NWA calendar

November 27, 2013 12:01 AM

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• "An Old World Christmas"

The Rogers Historical Museum will kick-off its holiday exhibition “An Old World Christmas,” with an open house on Dec. 1 from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. The exhibit will highlight holiday traditions from the British Isles, Scandinavia, Germany, France, and Italy — all national heritages represented among residents of Northwest Arkansas at the turn of the 20th century.

Visitors will take theme tours of the museum's 1895 Hawkins House, which will be decorated to illustrate the Christmas traditions of the various peoples who originally settled NWA. The event will also include crafts and refreshments, as well as a special visit from Santa from 2 to 4 p.m.

• Sounds of Christmas

The Ozark Mountains British Brass Band will present its Christmas concert, "The Sounds of Christmas," on Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. The concert will be held at the Rogers First Church of the Nazarene located at 4911 West Pleasant Grove Road.

This year's program will consist of a mix of traditional and modern Christmas music. The all-volunteer ensemble is comprised of current and retired music educators, college students and other musicians. The group is under the direction of Rebecca Gale, former band director at Bentonville High School.

• Rogers Christmas Parade

Rogers will celebrate "Holidays Around the World" with its annual Christmas Parade on Dec. 2. This year's event will showcase the diverse traditions of the many cultures of people who reside in Rogers.

The parade will feature nearly 100 floats, marching bands and other participants, all decorated with bright Christmas lights. The event will kick-off in downtown Rogers at 7 p.m.

Admission is free and all are encouraged to attend. For more information, call 936-5487.

• Children's Christmas Train

All aboard! The Children's Christmas Train is returning to Northwest Arkansas and is set to leave the station on Dec. 7. Children’s Christmas Train riders will depart from the Emma Street Depot in Springdale aboard a restored 1940s era train and take a trip that will include carolers, humorous skits, and a visit from Santa Claus.

In addition to the train rides, the festivities will include opportunities to have "Breakfast with Santa" and a chance to visit Santa's Village. There will be three breakfast sessions, beginning at 8:30 a.m., and following at 9:15 a.m., and 10 a.m. at the Arts Center of the Ozarks. The village will be open at the depot from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will include pony rides, model trains, a cake walk and many other activities.

An Ugly Christmas Sweater 5K/Family Fun Run will also be held beginning at 1 p.m. Special awards will be given for ugliest Christmas sweaters and to the top three male and female finishers in the 5K. Cost to participate is $20 for the 5K and $10 for the Sweater Stroll.

There will be 11 train departures this year, one every hour beginning at 8 a.m. Train tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children and may be purchased by calling 725-4017 or online at this link.

Proceeds from the event will support NWA Children's Charities including Children’s Safety Center, CASA of Northwest Arkansas, Circle of Life and EOA Children’s House.

• Mercy O'Night Divine Gala

The Mercy Health Foundation is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its annual Charity Ball with a benefit that Northwest Arkansas is not soon to forget. The "O'Night Divine" Gala on Dec. 7 will welcome award-winning artist Jewel to its stage. Guests will be treated to a live performance by the musician who most recently joined the judges' panel on the popular NBC show, "The Sing-off."

Hosted at the John Q. Hammons Center, the evening will begin with a VIP reception at 5 p.m., followed by the main reception at 6 p.m. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m. A live auction will start at 8 p.m., prior to Jewel's performance at at 9 p.m.

All proceeds from the event will benefit the Mercy Health Foundation. The gala serves as the organization's largest annual fundraiser. Individual tickets are $200 and can be purchased online. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.

• Winter Dreams Tour of Homes

Junior League of Northwest Arkansas will host its 15th annual Winter Dreams Tour of Homes on Dec. 8. Several premier homes in Benton and Washington Counties will open their doors to allow tour-goers the chance to see their houses arrayed in their Christmas best.

Upon purchase of a ticket, participants will receive a map with detailed directions to each home from I-540. Tours will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tour-goers who visit every home on the route will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a free interior design consultation from interior designer, Amy Keck.

An after-party will be held at Grub's in Rogers beginning at 4 p.m. Grub's will offer tour-goer food and drink specials with the presentation of a ticket.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online at this link, at several NWA Arvest locations and at Signed, Sealed, Delivered in Rogers.

Food, drinks, pets, cameras and baby strollers are not permitted on the tour.

All proceeds from Winter Dreams benefits the mission and projects of the Junior League. For more information, check out the event's Facebook page.


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