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Votes

Holiday Guide Entertainment

Now Through Jan. 6, 2011

<cal2>Christmas at Mount Vernon. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Themed decorations (including 12 Christmas trees), a gingerbread Mount Vernon, historical chocolate-making demonstrations, and 18th-century dancing will be offered. Visit Aladdin, George Washington's Christmas Camel, take special Mansion tours, and make a Chocolate Toast to Christmas, with our 18th-century-style chocolate drink, a Washington family favorite. At George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon; call 703-780-2000 or visit mountvernon.org. Admission: $15 for adults, $7 for youth (6-11), and free for children 5 and younger.

<cal1>Now Through Dec. 19

<cal2>Alexandria Jaycees’ Christmas Tree Sales. The tree lot features a variety of trees, including Canaan Firs, Douglas Firs, Fraser Firs, and Scotch Pines in heights from 4-10 feet, with prices from $45-$90. Proceeds to benefit the Holiday Shopping Tour for underprivileged children. Operating hours are Tuesday-Friday 6–9 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; and Sunday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. At the Safeway Parking Lot, 500 South Royal Street, Alexandria. Call 703-866-7171 or go to www.alexjaycees.org or visit http://www.alexjaycees.org/trees.php.

Mount Vernon by Candlelight. 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Join "Mrs. Washington" for an evening of candlelit tours, fireside Christmas caroling, and hot cider and ginger cookies. Tour the first and second floors, hear characters from Washington’s world as they guide visitors through the home, adding ambiance to a traditional Christmas evening at Mount Vernon. Admission: Adults/$20, Youth 11 and under/$14. At George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon; call 703-780-2000 or visit mountvernon.org.

<cal1>Thursday/Dec. 2

<cal2>Holiday Bash With Shopping. 6 to 9 p.m. Free. Studios and galleries are open for holiday shopping as the art center is transformed into a glittering spectacle of holiday spirit. Shop for one-of-a-kind gifts as you enjoy live music and festive activities throughout the evening. At the Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 N. Union Street, Alexandria. Call 703-838-4565 or visit www.TorpedoFactory.org.

Holiday Open House. 6 to 9 p.m. Free. Studios and galleries are open for holiday shopping as the art center is transformed into a glittering spectacle of holiday spirit! At the Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 N. Union Street, Alexandria. Call 703-838-4565 or visit www.TorpedoFactory.org.

<cal1>Dec. 2, 3, 4

<cal2>"The Alexandria Community Nutcracker." Dec. 2 at 5 p.m.; Dec. 3 at 6:30 p.m.; Dec. 4 at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. The Alexandria Community Nutcracker is an original full-length community Nutcracker choreographed by local dance teachers Gennifer Lisenby, Courtney Betzel, and Adrienne Magnuson and featuring the West Potomac Dance Academy and many young dancers from the community. Local schools represented in the production include St. Luke’s Day School, Aldersgate Preschool, Hollin Meadows Math and Science, Fort Hunt ES, Waynewood ES, Belle View ES, Stratford Landing ES, Washington Mill ES, Burgundy Farm Country Day School, Browne Academy, St. Louis, St. Mary’s, Carl Sandburg MS, and West Potomac HS. At West Potomac High School Auditorium. Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.alexandriadance.com. Visit alexandriadance.com.

<cal1>Friday/Dec. 3

<cal2>Children’s Tea. 1–3 p.m. At the George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Street, Alexandria. Children can enjoy tea and snacks and visit with Santa, and participate in fun arts and crafts. Cost is $30 per adult and $10 per child. Contact 703-549-0111 or www.campagnacenter.org.

ArtFest 2010. 6 to 9 p.m. Free. Open House and Holiday Party featuring handmade ceramics and jewelry for sale, live music by Rew Smith band, exhibits, art demos and more. The Ceramic Sale will take place Friday, Dec. 3, from noon to 9 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 4 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 5 from noon to 5 p.m. The Jewelry Sale will take place Friday, Dec. 3 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 4 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. At The Art League's Madison Annex, 305 Madison Street, Alexandria.

A Christmas Marketplace. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sponsored by the Campagna Center. Special shopping hours for Taste of Scotland guests 7-11 p.m. Vendors include: Janice's Table; Discovery Toys; G's Glory Handbags; Janet Egan Design; The Dressed Up Nut; Celtic Landscapes in Pastel; Aurora Bath and Jewels; The Perfect Buddha; Scottish Gourmet USA LLC; Patricia Palermino Studio; Villa de Alpacas Farm; Southwestern Silver; The Scottish Trading Co.; Queen Bee Designs; Monday's Child; Thirty-One; Heather & Greens also available. At the George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive, Alexandria.

Holiday on the Avenue in Del Ray. 5:45 to 9 p.m. Free. Annual Del Ray holiday tree lighting, visit with Santa and lighting of the luminaries; a holiday tradition in Alexandria. Carols begin at 5:45 p.m. and hot chocolate, hot cider and cookies will be provided. At 6 p.m. sing "Here Comes Santa Claus" when Santa arrives. Thousands of luminaries will be lit from Mt. Vernon and Commonwealth down to Luray Avenue. At Del Ray Farmer's Market at Mt. Vernon Ave. and E. Oxford Ave., Alexandria. Call 703-746-3301.

Taste of Scotland. 8 to 11 p.m. Exclusive Patron Pub from 7 to 11 p.m. Join in a tasting featuring rare scotches direct from Scotland distilleries. Part of The Campagna Center's 40th Annual Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend. Cost is patron-$150, couple-$250 and general admission ticket-$100. At the George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive, Alexandria. Call Carlos at 703-549-0111 x146 or cllano@campaganacenter.org.

<cal1>Dec. 3 to 4

<cal2>Annual Christmas Celebration. Friday, Dec. 3, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. At Pauline Books & Media, 1025 King Street, Alexandria. Bring your own camera, costumes provided.

Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend. Free for Parade and Marketplace; $75 Taste of Scotland; $35 Designer Tour of Homes. 40th Annual Campagna Center Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend — even the dogs wear tartans. On Saturday, Dec. 4, more than 100 Scottish clans dressed in tartans will parade through the streets of Old Town. They'll be joined by pipe and drum bands from around the region, as well as terriers and hounds of every description. This year’s event is sponsored by the Scottish government. Other events of the weekend include A Christmas Marketplace and A Taste of Scotland on Dec. 3, and the Campagna Center’s Holiday Designer Tour of Homes on Dec. 4. Call 703-549-0111 or visit www.ScottishChristmasWalk.com.

<cal1>Dec. 3 to 5

<cal2> Pet Photos With Santa. The AWLA will hold its annual "Pet Photos with Santa" event. Drop-ins are welcome, but residents are encouraged to call 703-746-4774 to make your appointment. At the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, 4101 Eisenhower Ave., Alexandria.

15th Holiday Market. Free. Reception is Friday, Dec. 3 from 6-9 p.m. Hours Saturday, Dec. 4 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Unique handmade fine arts and crafts from 20 exhibitors (including pottery/ceramics, photography, jewelry, cloth, paper crafts, and glass), beautiful poinsettias from West Landscapes LLC, and delicious Bake Sale items to benefit the local community. Del Ray Artisans Gallery, at the Nicholas A. Colasanto Center, 2704 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria. Check www.TheDelRayArtisans.org.

<cal1>Dec. 3 to 12

<cal2>"A Christmas Carol." Admission: $15. The Little Theatre of Alexandria rings in the holidays with a return of a classic by Charles Dickens. Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly Victorian humbug, travels with ghostly guides through Christmas past, present, and future to find the true meaning of the holidays. At The Little Theatre of Alexandria, 600 Wolfe Street, Alexandria; call 703-683-0496 or visit www.thelittletheatre.com.

<cal1>Saturday/Dec. 4

<cal2>A Soldier’s Christmas. Noon to 4 p.m. $5 admission. The First Virginia Regiment will host a holiday-themed education and entertainment program focused on the soldier of the American Revolution. Activities include demonstrations of military drill, fife and drum music, gaming, cooking, and more. At The Carlyle House, 121 N. Fairfax St., Alexandria. Visit www.carlylehouse.org or call 703-549-2997.

Mount Vernon by Candlelight. 5 to 8:30 p.m. A traditional candlelight evening with "Mrs. Washington," live music, and fireside caroling. Tickets are $20 adults and $14 youth. At 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Alexandria. Tickets are $20 adults and $14 youth. Contact 703-780-2000 or www.MountVernon.org.

Holiday Market. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. More than 20 vendors with items including original paintings, handmade quilts, baby clothes, hand-made jewelry, painted wine glasses, jams and jellies, photography, soaps, lotions, make-up, skin care products, Christmas ornaments, purses, painted shells and antique ice skates, and more. In the Fellowship Hall (downstairs), Calvary Presbyterian Church, 6120 N. Kings Hwy., Alexandria. Call 703-768-8510.

Burke & Herbert Holiday Boat Parade of Lights. Free. Festivities at 4 p.m.; Boat Parade at 6 p.m. Alexandria's harbor lights up when more than 50 illuminated boats cruise the Potomac River at the historic waterfront. Festivities at the Alexandria City Marina (One Cameron Street, Alexandria) with Santa arriving by fireboat at 4:15 p.m. Call 703-746-3301. VisitAlexandriaVA.com

Concert with Ars Choralis. 7 p.m. The concert features a candlelight procession, Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria, A Carol Suite by modern English composer Karl Jenkins, favorites including "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel," and an audience sing-a-long. A reception will follow. At St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 228 South Pit St., corner of Pitt and Duke Streets.

Christmas Boutique. 9 a.m. to noon. Handmade Christmas décor, ornaments, hand knitted items, baked goods, and unique gifts. Proceeds support Heritage Presbyterian Women’s outreach programs for children and women. At Heritage Presbyterian Church, 8503 Fort Hunt Road, Alexandria. Call 703-360-9546.

Holiday Open House. Fair Trade, World Peace and Cats. Fair trade tea and chocolate, cider and treats. Toss your hand-colored wish for world peace into the World Peace Wishing Well and enter your name into a drawing to win valuable prizes. Also hosting the cats and kittens from Tails High, an Alexandria-based cat rescue group, in the kitty playpen. At Mindful Hands, 211 King Street. Visit www.mindfulhands.com or 703-683-2074.

Ornament Decorating Workshop. 1 to 4 p.m. Free. Be inspired by the colors and patterns of pottery excavated in Alexandria and make a memorable holiday keepsake! Participants can decorate and take home dough ornaments which are shaped like artifacts from the museum’s own collection. At the Alexandria Archaeology Museum at the Torpedo Factory, 105 N. Union Street #327, Alexandria; Call 703-746-4399 or visit www.alexandriaarchaeology.org.

Divas and Bards. 7 p.m. Concert by the 7 Sopranos. At the Arts Center at Convergence. Guests will be invited to a party featuring a new exhibit by visual and performing artist, Eve Hennessa. Guests will enjoy hors d‘oeuvres, wine and champagne from 8 to 9 p.m. During the reception, guests will enjoy marimba player Adam Garcia and appearance by performance artist, Deborah Lash modeling one of her "sculpture dresses." From 9 to 10:30 p.m. the evening will continue with a D.J. and beer from Dogfish Head Alehouse. Tickets are $35 at door or $30 in advance at 703-998-6260 or online at http://www.convergenceccf.net/site/.

Alexandria Harmonizers Holiday Dinner Theater. 12:30 p.m. only. (Note: 6 p.m. sold out). Favorite seasonal songs leading up to the Number One Song of All Time, featuring the Alexandria Harmonizers Chorus, quartets, and ensembles. Singing waiters serve a family meal with Santa — lasagna, string beans, salad, rolls, beverage, and cookies. Plenty of caroling and audience participation. Admission: Adults - $27; Senior & Group - $22; Child 6-12 - $13; 5 & under - Free, ticket required. At First Baptist Church of Alexandria, 2932 King Street, Alexandria. Call 703-910-4600 or order online at www.harmonizers.org.

<cal1>Sunday/Dec. 5

<cal2>Mount Vernon by Candlelight. 5 to 8:30 p.m. A traditional candlelight evening with "Mrs. Washington," live music, and fireside caroling. Tickets are $20 adults and $14 youth. At 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Alexandria. Tickets are $20 adults and $14 youth. Contact 703-780-2000 or www.MountVernon.org.

Women’s Artists Show. 1 to 5 p.m. Free. More than 30 local women artists will offer pottery, scarves, jewelry, crafts, photography and more. Exciting items — including trips, restaurant certificates, household items and vendor items — will be raffled off. Sponsored by The Alexandria Commission for Women. At the Charles Houston Recreation Center, 901 Wythe Street, Alexandria. Contact Lisa Baker at 703-746-5030 or e-mail lisa.baker@alexandriava.gov.

"Ode to Joy." 4 p.m. An All-Beethoven Concert with The New Dominion Chorale, Thomas Beveridge, artistic director. Tickets are $30/general; $25/seniors. At the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center, 3001 North Beauregard St., Alexandria. Visit www.newdominion.org or call 703-442-9404.

Toys for Tots Benefit Square Dance. 1 to 5 p.m. With a special 3 p.m. performance by Capital Squares Demonstration Team. Recommended donation for each couple is a new, unopened toy or a $10 minimum contribution (singles $5). At the Lee Center Exhibit Hall, 1108 Jefferson St., Alexandria. Call the City’s Special Events Hotline at 703-746-5592 or visit www.alexandriava.gov/recreation.

Handel's "Judas Maccabaeus." 3 p.m. Free. No tickets required; $10/donation. Performed by NOVA Community Chorus, Dr. Mark A. Whitmire, Director, and Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic, Ulysses S. James, Music Direct/Conductor. Pre-concert lecture with Dr. Stephen Bertino at 2:15 p.m. At Bishop Ireton High School, 201 Cambridge Road, Alexandria. Call 703-845-6097.

Alternative Christmas Giving Bazaar. A fund-raiser for local charity. After the 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. services. In the Fellowship Hall of Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2701 Cameron Mills Road, Alexandria. Visit www.wpc-alex.org.

<cal1>Monday/Dec. 6

<cal2>Toastmasters International Area G1 Holiday Party. 7:30 p.m. At Primo Family Restaurant on Belle View Blvd in Alexandria. Visit mtvernontoast@gmail.com. Visit http://mountvernon.freetoasthost.org/

Advent Benefit Concert. 7:30 p.m. A benefit concert for the Daughters of St. Paul. A relaxing and prayerful evening of classical and sacred music with concert pianist Donna Stoering and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra violist, Erin Nolan, a postulant with the Daughters of St. Paul. Music by Chopin, Faure, Rachmaninov and Schubert. Free-will offering will be collected to support the mission of the Daughters of St. Paul. Call 703-549-3806. At St. Mary’s Lyceum, 313 Duke Street, Old Town, Alexandria.

<cal1>Dec. 9-11

<cal2>"A Christmas Carol." Admission is $10/adults; $7/students or seniors. Family rates of $30 for 4 or more. Presented by the Mount Vernon High School drama department. Dec. 9, 10 and 11. At the Little Theater, Mount Vernon High School, 8515 Old Mount Vernon Road, Alexandria. For details, go to eademarco@fcps.edu or 703-619-3259. Group sales contact Jeanette Kraynak at 703-619-9069.

<cal1>Saturday/Dec. 11

<cal2>"The Black Candle: A Kwanzaa Celebration" Film Screening. Free. Also Kwanzaa Celebration Program. Educational program 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Film screening 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. At the Alexandria Black History Museum 902 Wythe Street, Alexandria. Call 703-746-4356 or VisitAlexandriaVA.com.

Pancake Breakfast Friendraiser. 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Free. Hosted by Jefferson-Houston K-8 School. Come to relax, have fun. Donations are greatly appreciated. At 1501 Cameron St., Alexandria.

Pre-Kwanzaa Program. Free. Learn about the principles of Kwanzaa, a seven-day cultural celebration that begins Dec. 26 and ends Jan. 1, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Alexandria Black History Museum, 902 Wythe St. Brian Sales, who studied with Kwanzaa founder Dr. Maulana Karenga, will instruct participants in the basic history of Kwanzaa, provide advice on celebrating Kwanzaa at home, and perform a traditional Libation Ceremony. Call 703-746-4356 or visit www.alexblackhistory.org.

Gunston Hall Plantation Christmas and Yuletide Dinner. Plantation Christmas: 6:30 - 9:30 p.m.; Yuletide Dinner: 4:30, 6 and 8 p.m. Plantation Christmas: $15 adults; $8 ages 6-18; $2 ages 2-5; Yuletide Dinner: $49.95 adults and ages 11 and older; $24.95 ages 6-10; $9.95 ages 2-5. Ride in a horse-drawn carriage, sip warm cider by the fire, and sample period recipes prepared in the hearth kitchen. Costumed characters engaged in seasonal activities greet you in the house and throughout the grounds. At Gunston Hall Plantation, 10709 Gunston Road, Lorton; call 703-550-9220 or visit www.gunstonhall.org.

Alexandria Harmonizers Holiday Concert. 2 p.m. Free. Celebrate the holidays with this free concert of seasonal favorites in the barbershop style by the Alexandria Harmonizers Chorus. At Market Square, 301 King Street, Alexandria; call 703-746-5592. Visit www.harmonizers.org

"Christmas in Camp." Noon to 4 p.m. This family holiday event interprets how Christmas was observed during the Civil War. Features a patriotic Santa Claus, living history presentations, Victorian decorations, refreshments, tours and crafts. At Fort Ward Museum, 4301 West Braddock Road in Alexandria. Call the Museum at 703-746-4848 or visit www.fortward.org.

Christmas Boutique. 9 a.m. to noon. Handmade Christmas décor, ornaments, hand knitted items, baked goods, and unique gifts. Proceeds support Heritage Presbyterian Women’s outreach programs for children and women. At Heritage Presbyterian Church, 8503 Fort Hunt Road, Alexandria. Call 703-360-9546.

<cal1>Sunday/Dec. 12

<cal2>

Christmas Candlelight Service. 6 p.m. Doors open t 5:40 p.m. for instrumental prelude. Entitled "Sing Noel," this Christmas celebration will feature readers, the APC Adult and Children’s choirs, instrumentalists, and congregational carol singing by candlelight. Childcare will be provided, including special activities for kids through age six. A Christmas reception will follow immediately after the service. Alexandria Presbyterian Church is at 2405 Russell Road in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria. Contact: 703-683-3348, www.alexandriapres.org.

Interactive Nativity Pageant. 2 to 4 p.m. The pageant will feature live animals, including sheep and a donkey. Christmas cookies and hot chocolate will be served in the church’s community room. Opportunities for worship, Bible study, youth activities, grief counseling and healing are offered throughout the week. At St. Andrew & St. Margaret of Scotland Anglican Catholic Church, 402 E. Monroe Ave., in the Del Ray area of Alexandria. Visit www.standrewandstmargaret.org or call 703-683-3343.

Alternative Christmas Giving Bazaar. A fund-raiser for local charity. After the 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. services. In the Fellowship Hall of Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2701 Cameron Mills Road, Alexandria. Visit www.wpc-alex.org.

Air Force Brass Quintet. 3 p.m. Free. Performs with the Seika Girls High School Wind Orchestra. At Bishop Ireton High School, 201 Cambridge Road, Alexandria. Call 202-767-5658 or visit our homepage: www.usafband.af.mil

Children’s Holiday Concert. 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $25, includes post-concert candy reception. "The Nutcracker Suite" with conductor Kim Allen Kluge and the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra. At St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 228 South Pitt Street, Alexandria. Call 703-548-0885 or visit http://www.alexsym.org.

<cal1>Dec. 12-14

<cal2>Journey to Bethlehem. Free. 6 to 8 p.m. Guided tours through the "City of Bethlehem" on the front lawn of Aldersgate Church, 1301 Collingwood Road, at the corner of Collingwood and Fort Hunt roads in the Mt. Vernon area of Alexandria. Call 703-765-6555 or visit www.aldersgate.net.

<cal1>Dec. 17-18

<cal2>Alexandria Singers Holiday Show. "Yule School Reunion!" In three family-friendly performances, following a colorful and whimsical story line, The Alexandria Singers will take you through their favorite music of the holiday season both old and new. Premium seats $20; General admission $15; Discounted rate* $10 (*Seniors 65+, Students, Groups of 10+, Active Military); Children (6 and under) $5. Friday, Dec. 17 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 18 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Convergence, 1801 North Quaker Lane, Alexandria. Visit www.AlexandriaSingers.com or 703-941-SING (7464).

<cal1>Dec. 17-18

<cal2>Alexandria Singers Holiday Show. "Yule School Reunion!" In three family-friendly performances, following a colorful and whimsical story line, The Alexandria Singers will take you through their favorite music of the holiday season both old and new. Premium seats $20; General admission $15; Discounted rate* $10 (*Seniors 65+, Students, Groups of 10+, Active Military); Children (6 and under) $5. Friday, Dec. 17 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 18 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Convergence, 1801 North Quaker Lane, Alexandria. Visit www.AlexandriaSingers.com or 703-941-SING (7464).

"Yule School Reunion." Alexandria Singers Holiday Show. In 3 family-friendly performances, following a colorful and whimsical story line, The Alexandria Singers will take you through their favorite music of the holiday season both old and new! Premium Seats $20; General Admission $15; Discounted Rate* $10 (*Seniors 65+, Students, Groups of 10+, Active Military); Children (6 and under) $5. Friday, Dec. 17 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday Dec. 18 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; At Convergence, 1801 North Quaker Lane, Alexandria. Visit www.AlexandriaSingers.com (703)941-SING (7464).

<cal1>Sunday/Dec. 19

<cal2>Colonial Handbell Ringers. Free. 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Get into the holiday spirit as you listen – and sing along – with their performance of holiday classics using a long set of Whitechapel bells. At The Lyceum, 201 South Washington Street, Alexandria. Call 703-746-4994 or visit www.alexandriahistory.org.

<cal1>Friday/Dec. 31

<cal2>First Night Alexandria. 100 live performances start at 7 p.m. at 17 venues in Old Town Alexandria; the Fun Hunt; Multimedia Fireworks Finale; lasers; video, music. At George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive, Alexandria. Admission: $15 before Dec. 21; $20 after. Children 12 and under are free. Note that the headquarters are at Durant Arts Center, 1605 Cameron St., Alexandria. Call 703-746-3301 or visit www.FirstNightAlexandria.org.