The holiday season is officially underway in the Carson City area, with caroling, holiday crafts, Santa sightings and other events planned this weekend.
The annual Silver & Snowflakes Festival of Lights will be kicking off the capital city’s holiday season at 5:30 p.m. at the Capitol steps. Carson Street will close at 4:30 p.m. Entertainment by local students and the YTCC Showstoppers will be at McFadden Plaza, where free hot cocoa will be served by Carson City Elks Lodge No. 2144. Santa and the Grinch also will be there to greet children. In addition, carolers from Sierra Lutheran will be strolling through the streets singing Christmas carols at the various eating establishments and businesses. Grab a hot bowl of soup from 5 to 8 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, where Empty Bowls will be dishing out soup from local restaurants to benefit FISH. At the Arlington Square ice rink, kids under 12 can skate for free between 6 and 8 p.m. Free cookies will be served by the Downtown Business Association at the rink as part of festival, as well as free Borges Sleigh and Carriage Rides from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Sister’s Christmas Catechism, a live comedy show, is at 7 p.m. at the Carson Valley Inn in Minden. For reservations, call 783-6601.
Peanutcracker — The Story in a Nutshell returns to the Carson City Community Center at 10 a.m. and noon today and 4 p.m. Saturday. Go to http://www.sierranevadaballet.org/performances/.
Native American crafts and other items will be on hand at an annual Christmas craft fair at 10 a.m. Friday through Sunday, Dec. 2-4, at Carson Colony Gym, 2800 S. Curry St. Indian tacos will be sold at the event. Call Ada Johnson at 775-781-0480.
The Carson Lanes Winter Craft Fair is taking place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Consort Canzona will present “Lessons and Carols” at 7 p.m. today at Shepherd of the Sierra Lutheran Church, 3680 Highway 395, just south of Best Buy in Carson City. The concert will repeat at 5 p.m. the following evening, Dec. 3, at Carson Valley United Methodist Church, 1375 Centerville Lane in Gardnerville. Go to CCSymphony.com, or call the Symphony at 775-883-4154.
Santa and characters from the classic holiday story, “The Polar Express,” will be brought to life on hourlong train rides. Polar Express trains depart from the Carson City Eastgate Depot, 4650 Eastgate Siding Road Thursdays through Sundays until Dec. 23. Each trip includes a souvenir silver sleigh bell to remember the journey. Tickets are available at VIP parlor car tickets also are available at http://vttrain.activitytickets.com/activity/357?_ga=1.37163495.675064248.1474306233.
Ice skating at Arlington Square Ice Rink on N. Carson and W. Robinson streets, across from the Carson Nugget, will be open through Jan. 27. Skate sessions are 3-5 and 6-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 3-5 and 6-10 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-5 and 6-10 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-5 and 6-9 p.m. Sunday. The cost is $7 for ages 13 and up and $5 for ages 3-12. Skate rentals are $3 per session. For after school skating and other specials, go to carson.org/icerink.
Free holiday events are being held at Genoa Candy & Coffee, located at the Carson Lanes center at 4600 Snyder Ave. Cookie decorating is from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Fridays through Sundays until Christmas for children 10 and younger. Frappe Night, offering an assortment of frappuccinos for $5 per person, is 5-7 p.m. Fridays through Jan. 1. It includes chess, checkers, gin rummy and other games.
Virginia City’s Christmas on the Comstock, a month-long holiday celebration, kicks off Saturday with a new The Grinch Made Me Do It Saloon Crawl, a holiday craft fair, the Parade of Lights, a holiday concert and photos with Father Christmas. The saloon crawl is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the event. The Parade of Lights holiday parade down C Street follows at 5 p.m. Live music by David John & The Comstock Cowboys will follow the parade at 7:30 p.m. at Piper’s Opera House. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for kids 12 and under. The show begins at 7:30 p.m., and will be opened by the Virginia City Schools choir. The 3rd annual Holiday Faire, also on Dec. 3, is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at St. Mary’s Art Center. Call 775-847-7774 for details. For photos with Santa, stop by the Virginia City Visitors Center at 86 S. C St. Dec. 3-4, 10-11 and 17-18 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Greenhouse Garden Center is hosting a holiday wreath decorating workshop at 11 a.m. The $50 fee includes materials. RSVP at 775-882-8600.
A free Christmas Open House at Silver Saddle Ranch is planned from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Enjoy food and drink with Santa.
A Holiday Wine Walk in downtown Carson City is 1-5 p.m. The $15 fee includes commemorative wine glass. Start at Carson Nugget, Cactus Jack’s or Carson Jewelry & Loan.
The Holiday Crawl to benefit the Holiday with a Hero program is 5-10 p.m. in downtown Carson City. The cost is $20 in advance. Call 775-687-7410.
Santa will join the crew of the V&T Railroad on Saturdays and Sundays until Dec. 18. Trains run from the Nevada State Railroad Museum, 2180 S. Carson St. Children are invited to visit with Santa and write him a letter while enjoying holiday treats and other festivities. Tickets are $5 per person; children under 4 are free. For tickets, go to http://museums.nevadaculture.org.
Samples of hot wassail, Christmas tea, hot chocolate, no-bake cheesecake, spray on herbs and other gourmet foods will be offered at a holiday open house at Evergreen Gene’s, 1811 N. Carson St. Santa will be on hand to meet with both children and pets at the 8th annual event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bring your camera and pets to take pictures with Santa, who arrives at 1 p.m. A percentage of all sales made during the open house will go to the Do Drop In Center. Call Gene or Rowena at 775-882-1807.
An afternoon of art and refreshments is planned at East Fork Gallery’s Christmas reception from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The gallery, next to the Record Courier at 1503 Highway 395 in Gardnerville, features paintings, prints, and cards by local artists. It also offers gift items — pottery, turned wood pieces, jewelry, stained glass, and more. Call 775-782-7629.
Capital City Community Band’s free holiday concert is at 3 p.m. at the Carson City Community Center.
Good Shepherd Wesleyan Church is hosting a free Christmas Concert with Holly Starr at 6 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The church is at 1505 Railroad Drive. To hear Starr’s music, go to http://hollystarrmusic.com. The church can be reached at 775-885-8361.
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