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Christmas activities are starting this weekend

by Linda Hiller, staff writer

Dust off that Santa hat and get the kids bundled up, it’s time for the holiday weekend guaranteed to put you in the mood for singing, shopping and (hopefully) good cheer.

Much of this weekend’s events are similar to last year with a few changes and improvements.

STARTING TODAY

n The fourth annual Gallery of Trees Festival opens today and will be on display through Dec. 28. Service clubs, businesses, organizations, schools and individuals will display decorated trees in the Carson Valley Museum and Cultural Center, and visitors to the museum may vote for their favorite trees until Dec. 2.

On Sunday, Dec. 3, an open house will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Refreshments, homemade cakes, cookies and holiday music will be featured all day.

The Gallery of Trees Festival is open to the public free of charge at the museum and cultural center, 1477 Highway 395, Gardnerville.

The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., free admission. For information, call 782-2555, or call co-chairs Marlena Hellwinkel, 782-2010, or Diane Callahan, 782-3045, or visit the Web site, http://www.carsonvalleymuseums.com. See story on page 4B.

n The Town of Minden and Tumblewind Antiques will sponsor a Holiday Blood Drive tomorrow, Nov. 30, at the CVIC Hall in Minden from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

To make an appointment, call Roxanne Stangle of Tumblewind, 782-2444, or Sheila Byington at the Town of Minden, 782-5976.

n FRIDAY, DEC.1

n The 11th annual Lighting of Minden Park celebration will begin at 5 p.m. with music on Esmeralda Avenue in old town Minden. A barbershop quartet, Partners in Harmony, will perform between 5 and 6 p.m. on the sidewalk between Tumblewind and Nevada Gourmet.

n The 12th annual Elks Spaghetti Dinner and Christmas Tree Bingo event will begin at 5 p.m. in the CVIC Hall. Dinner, consisting of spaghetti with meat sauce, tossed green salad and garlic French bread, will run $6 per person and $4 for children 6 and younger. No-host cocktails begin at 4:30 p.m.

Family Bingo begins at 7 p.m. Prizes will be 5-6-foot Christmas trees. Everyone is welcome.

Proceeds go to needy families in Carson Valley.

n From 5-7 p.m., children of all ages can write Letters to Santa in the Minden Inn Lobby, 1594 Esmeralda Ave., courtesy of the Douglas County Public Library.

n At 6 p.m., the Lights of the Gazebo will be turned on in Minden Park.

n From 6-8 p.m., children may tell Santa Claus what they want for Christmas at the C.O.D. Garage. Free pictures will be taken with Santa, courtesy of the Minden Business Group.

n From 6:15 to 7 p.m., the Douglas High School Image Choir will sing on the steps of Minden Inn. Hot cocoa, hot cider and cookies will be available, courtesy of the Minden Business Group and the Carson Valley Inn.

n In Genoa at 7 p.m. there will be caroling at the Genoa church and Christmas tree lighting, with Santa Claus arriving on a fire truck. Refreshments will be served in the firehouse.

n SATURDAY, DEC. 2

n On Saturday and continuing Sunday, Dec. 3, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., an art show will be in the Genoa town hall, with theme table settings and decorated trees. There will be a Christmas Cafe with mulled wine and food and baked goods, as well as specialized vendors with soap and candle making, quilts and afghans and musical groups traveling between the buildings.

n The 19th annual Douglas High School Christmas Faire, organized by the DHS Future Business Leaders of America, will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the high school on Highway 88 in Minden.

Students from speech and debate will be selling custom photo mugs and T-shirts, and there will be rooms and rooms of more than 100 craft vendors displaying their wares. Admission to the faire is $1 at the door, with proceeds going toward Angel Vargas, a former DHS student who has been ill with leukemia, and the March of Dimes.

n The fifth annual Parade of Lights will begin at 5 p.m. at Lampe Park in Gardnerville and this year take a different route, down Highway 395 through Gardnerville on its way to the Minden Park in Minden.

The parade theme is “Winter Wonder Lights,” and is sponsored by the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Authority.

After the parade, lighted floats will stand by at the park so visitors may see them and refreshments will be available.

n From 5:30-7 p.m., children of all ages can write Letters to Santa in the Minden Inn Lobby, 1594 Esmeralda Ave., courtesy of the Douglas County Public Library.

n Carson Valley Sertoma will bring some extra warmth and cheer to the Parade of Lights with its Christmas Booth in the center of Minden Park.

Set to start serving at 4:30 p.m., the booth will have bright lights, carols and warming beverages both for little people and big when the floats and crowds come pouring down to the parade’s final line-up around the park. Hot cocoa, apple cider and coffee will be available, along with dashes of liqueurs, if desired.

Sertoma also has a special float in the parade. Area youngsters with hearing and speech problems, sponsored at Camp Sundowner by Sertoma each summer, will ride and sing Christmas carols, both in voice and with sign languages.

n The Carson Valley Art Association will have an art display available at the CVIC Hall in Minden from noon-8 p.m. Saturday. Santa Claus will be on hand and there will be tables of inexpensive gifts for children to buy for the people on their to-buy-for gift list.

n Members of the Carson Valley United Methodist Church invite the community to the Annual Advent Dinner on Saturday, Dec. 2, in the church Fellowship Hall, 1375 Centerville Lane, Gardnerville.

The church has presented this dinner to the community for more than 30 years, and it is offered free of charge as a gift to all.

The traditional meal will consist of baked ham, scalloped potatoes, green peas, assorted salads and desserts, rolls and beverages and will be served from 4 until 7:30 p.m. Guests may provide an item for the Carson Valley Food Closet as the price of admission. Paper goods, as well as non-perishable food items, are needed.

For questions, call the church office at 782-4600.

n ALL WEEKEND

The Douglas High School drama department and International Thespian Troupe #990 will present the play “A Christmas Carol,” an adaptation by Doris Baizley, at 7 p.m. in the DHS drama room, Dec. 1-2, again the weekends of Dec. 7-8 and 14-15. There will also be a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday, Dec. 2.

Tickets will be available at the door or may be purchased in advance from any cast or crew member at $5 for adults and $4 for students, seniors and teachers.

For more information about tickets and performances, contact Julie Franklin or Rod Hearn at DHS, 782-5136.