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Dressed up for the holidays

Don Fisher's Santa Claus collection is on display at the Thronateeska Heritage Center through New Year's Eve (2011).

Don Fisher's Santa Claus collection is on display at the Thronateeska Heritage Center through New Year's Eve (2011).

— — A star has always been a symbol of the Christmas season, and the parades this weekend in Albany and Leesburg will feature two homegrown ones — one long and enduring, the other rising quickly.

On Saturday, Leesburg will start the festivities with its annual Christmas parade featuring as grand marshal Lee County native son Luke Bryan, one of the hottest new performers in country music.

That parade winds through downtown Leesburg starting at 10 a.m., with the community’s annual festival following.

That evening in Albany, Jim Fowler, a native of Dougherty County, will serve in the same capacity in the city’s annual Celebration of Lights Parade.

Fowler, the founder of Chehaw Wild Animal Habitat and one of the world’s most recognized international wildlife experts for decades, will be grand marshal in the parade that will also congratulate Chehaw on its 75th anniversary.

Those are two of the highlights of a packed weekend of holiday-related events. Santa will be a busy man Saturday as he attends two breakfasts — one in Dawson and one in Leesburg. And if you miss the jolly ol’ elf, don’t worry. You can drop by the Thronateeska Heritage Center and see Don Fisher’s extensive collection of Santas. While you’re there, you can catch a special program on the Christmas star at the Wetherbee Planetarium.

A longtime favorite children’s story, “Alice in Wonderland,” will come to life on the stage of the Albany Municipal Auditorium Friday evening and Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

For those who want to get some exercise to start the day, the Jingle Bell Jog will get started Saturday morning at Phoebe HealthWorks.

Looking deeper into the month of December, Thomasville will again take on a Victorian flair Dec. 8-9 for its annual Victorian Christmas that gives the downtown a Dickens feeling. There are also vintage Christmas celebrations planned at two of the area living history museums — Westville near Lumpkin and the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village in Tifton. Theatre Albany, meanwhile, will have its December performances of “Little Women,” and the Albany Symphony Orchestra will present Peppermint Pops on Dec. 10.

Following is a list of upcoming events:

METRO ALBANY

Ongoing

Art of Health and Healing: Through Dec. 30, Albany Museum of Art, 311 Meadowlark Drive. Sponsored by Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in recognition of its 100th anniversary, the exhibit includes an original drawing by Norman Rockwell, along with artwork by nine Albany physicians. The museum is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays. Admission is free.

BLAM! D’town Arts Coalition Exhibition & Sale: Through Friday, Dec. 4, Albany Area Arts Council, 215 N. Jackson St. BLAM! is a collection of paintings by D’town Art Coalition artists Sean Mulkey, Kris Letlow, Brandon David, Durrel Smith and Inspyte. D’town Arts Coalition is a newly formed group of young artists with aspirations of transforming downtown Albany into a thriving arts hub. This exhibition is on the heels of their premier exhibition, SuperFancy, earlier this month at the Café 230. The gallery is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays-Fridays. Contact (229) 439-2787.

Don Fisher’s Santa Claus Collection: A selection from photographer Don Fisher’s extensive Santa Claus collection from different periods and locations is exhibiting through Dec. 31 at the Thronateeska Heritage Center’s Science Museum. Museum is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays (closed Sundays and Dec. 24-25). Admission is free. Contact (229) 432-6955.

Wetherbee Planetarium: Thursdays-Saturdays, 100 Roosevelt Ave. Show schedule — 10:30 a.m., Season of Light; 11:30 a.m., Black Holes; 1 p.m., Season of Light; 2 p.m., Earth, Moon & Sun; 3 p.m., Season of Light. Shows are seen on Spitz “SciDome” high-definition projection system — with 40-foot diameter dome and digital 5.1 surround sound — is the first of its kind in the world. Admission: 3 years old and older, $3.50 plus tax; Children under 3 years, free. Planetarium open same hours as Thronteeska Heritage Center Museum — 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays. Thronateeska is closed Sundays and Dec. 24-25. Contact (229) 432-6955.

Thursday (Dec. 1)

Christmas parade: 6 p.m., downtown Sylvester.

Friday (Dec. 2)

Alice in Wonderland: 7:30 p.m., Albany Municipal Auditorium, 200 N. Jackson St. Ballet Theatre of the South performs. Contact (229) 432-2444 or (229) 869-3698.

Festival of Lights: 6 p.m.-9 p.m., Chehaw, 105 Chehaw Park Road.Take a car ride through the park or a magical train ride on the Wiregrass Express to view all the spectacular lights. Admission, $12 per vehicle; $8 per vehicle for Chehaw members.

Saturday (Dec. 3)

Kiwanis Club of Dougherty County: All you can eat pancake breakfast, Covenant Presbyterian Church, 2126 Edgewater Drive, from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Tickets are $5 each, available at Rodd Electronics, Cartridge World or at the door. Children under 6 are free with parents. Proceeds to fund activities of the Kiwanis Club of Dougherty County.

Breakfast with Santa: 16th annual event, 7:30 a.m.-10 a.m., Lee County ninth-grade campus cafeteria. St. Nick shares pancakes and sausages with children and their families and poses for photos. Sponsored by the Lee High School theater arts program, cost is $3 per person.

Leesburg Christmas Parade: 10 a.m., downtown Leesburg. Grand marshal is country music star and Lee County native Luke Bryan. Parade followed by holiday festival.

Celebration of Lights: 6 p.m., Pine Avenue, downtown Albany. Albany’s annual Christmas parade. Grand marshal is international wildlife expert and Albany native Jim Fowler. Live entertainment starts at 5 p.m.

Breakfast with Santa: 9 a.m., Dawson Airport and Main Street Theatre, Dawson. Santa flies in at 9 a.m., boards fire truck and leads a procession to the theater, where a breakfast buffet will be available 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Bring your camera for photos with St. Nick. Admission: adult, $12; child 4 years or older, $8; child age 3 or younger, $5. Contact Rhonda Gordon at (229) 995-4444 or (229) 995-5329 or email dawsonbhtf@hotmail.com.

Alice in Wonderland: 2:30 p.m., Albany Municipal Auditorium, 200 N. Jackson St. Ballet Theatre of the South performs. Contact (229) 432-2444 or (229) 869-3698.

Jingle Bell Jog: 8 a.m. (10K) and 9 a.m. (5K and one-mile walk), Phoebe HealthWorks. Registration fee: $25 through Friday; $30 Saturday. Contact (229) 312-2200 or visit www.jinglebelljog.org.

Festival of Lights: 6 p.m.-9 p.m., Chehaw, 105 Chehaw Park Road.Take a car ride through the park or a magical train ride on the Wiregrass Express to view the spectacular lights. Admission, $12 per vehicle; $8 per vehicle for Chehaw members.

Book signing: Valerie Davis Benton signs copies of her novel, "Greater Heights," 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Java the Hut, downtown Leesburg.

Lee County Jamboree: Country and ‘50s music, 7:30 p.m., 100-B Walnut Ave., Leesburg. Contact (229) 759-2893.

Cheetah Run: 10:30 a.m., Chehaw, 105 Chehaw Park Road. Admission: $2, adult; $1, child. Park and zoo passes range from $5.75 to $8.75.

Alligator Feeding: 2 p.m., Chehaw, 105 Chehaw Park Road. Admission: $2, adult; $1, child. Park and zoo passes range from $5.75 to $8.75

Sunday (Dec. 4)

Christmas Concert: Annual Albany State University Concert Chorale and Chamber Singers Christmas concert, 7:30 p.m., St. Teresa's Catholic Church, Albany. Free admission. Contact (229) 430-4849.

Celebrating Christmas: 2 p.m., Main Street Theatre, Dawson. Christmas family show with Christmas music woven throughout the production. Show spotlights local and area talent. Admission: adult, $10, advance, $15 at the door; child 3-10, $5; child 3 or younger, free. Contact Rhonda Gordon at (229) 995-4444 or (229) 995-5329.

Alice in Wonderland: 2:30 p.m., Albany Municipal Auditorium, 200 N. Jackson St. Ballet Theatre of the South performs. Contact (229) 432-2444 or (229) 869-3698.

Festival of Lights: 6 p.m.-9 p.m., Chehaw, 105 Chehaw Park Road.Take a car ride through the park or a magical train ride on the Wiregrass Express to view all the spectacular lights. Admission, $12 per vehicle; $8 per vehicle for Chehaw members.

Alligator Feeding: 2 p.m., Chehaw, 105 Chehaw Park Road. Admission: $2, adult; $1, child. Park and zoo passes range from $5.75 to $8.75

Tuesday (Dec. 6)

Book Signings: 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m., Main Street Theatre, Dawson. Local authors Kay Strickland Heath (“Three Little Frogs Go to the Beach”) and Linda Williams (“The Death, Burial, and Resurrection of a Marriage”) will sign their new books. Light refreshments will be served..

Sesame Street Live: 7 p.m., Albany Civic Center. Tickets: $14-$50.

METRO NIGHTLIFE

The Cask & Kilt Irish Pub: 2610 Dawson Road. (229) 496-9372 or www.facebook.com “Cask N Kilt.” Fridays, Music Trivia with Ross & Jimmie 8 p.m.

The State Theatre: 313 Pine Ave., (229) 344-2237 or www.facebook.com.

Mellow Mushroom: 2825 Nottingham Way, (229) 888-4646 or www.facebook.com.

Club Xscape: 1019 W. Broad Ave.

Harvest Moon: 2347 Dawson Road, (229) 439-7077.

San Joe’s: Steve Strowbridge performs Fridays, (229) 759-2065.

Casa Tapatia: (229) 903-8802, 108 N. Slappey Blvd. (229) 903-8802.

VFW Post 2785: 315 Philema Road, (229) 883-9950.

The Barn, 1197 U.S. Highway 19 South, Pelham, (229) 294-4687 or (229) 403-6780.

If your club or facility has entertainment coming up, e-mail us at southview@albanyherald.com by 5 p.m. Friday for listing in the next Wednesday’s SouthView calendar.

NEARBY

Ongoing

Jimmy Carter: Georgia’s Native Son: Exhibit continues through April at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village, Whiddon Road in Tifton. The Carter exhibit chronicles the former president’s life, from his his roots in Plains to his White House years and his post-presidency humanitarian career through The Carter Center. Contact (229) 391-5222 or phuff@abac.edu for more information.

Mules & Presidents: The Folk Pottery of Huey and Anne Wheeler: Exhibit continues through Jan. 7 at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village, Whiddon Road in Tifton. A first-generation husband-and-wife artisan team. The Wheelers from Dawson have work on loan from collectors across the country at the museum. Contact (229) 391-5222 or phuff@abac.edu for more information.

Friday (Dec. 2)

Moultrie Staggerwing Country Jamboree: 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Gary Page & The Country Rockers featuring Billy Wilson, Lala Lehmann, Wayne Watson, Robert Price, Emmitt Page, Jason Duckworth, William Brinson, R.J. Brinson and local drop-in talent from surrounding counties; next door to Sunbelt Expo in Moultrie, raffles, (229) 888-3664, staggerwingcountryjamboree@yahoo.com.

Saturday (Dec. 3)

Festival of Lights Christmas Parade: 6 p.m., downtown Moultrie.

Pelham Country Jamboree: 5 p.m.-11 p.m., downtown Pelham across from the train depot, raffles, (229) 377-8952, pelhamcountryjamboree@yahoo.com.

Monday (Dec. 5)

Deck the Halls!: Westville. Learn how Yuletide decorations were made in the mid-1800s and help dress up Westville for the holidays. Located at 9294 Singer Pond Road, Lumpkin. Contact 1 (888) 733-1850 or info@westville.org.

Tuesday (Dec. 6)

Pelham Country Jamboree line dancing lessons: 6 p.m.-8 p.m., downtown Pelham across from train depot. Donation of $5 required to help raise money for Saturday Jamboree.

LATER ON

METRO ALBANY

Sesame Street Live: 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m., Dec. 7; Albany Civic Center. Tickets: $14-$50.

Festival of Lights: Thursdays-Sundays 6 p.m.-9 p.m. through Dec. 11; every evening Dec. 12-31; Chehaw, 105 Chehaw Park Road. Take a car ride through the park or a magical train ride on the Wiregrass Express to view the spectacular lights. Admission, $12 per vehicle; $8 per vehicle for Chehaw members.

Little Women: Dec. 8-11 and 15-18, Theatre Albany, 514 Pine Ave. Theatre Albany performs the play based on Louisa May Alcott’s famous novel. Performances are at 8 p.m. except for Sundays when matinees are at 2:30 p.m. Admission ranges from $25 for adults to $10 for military and students. Contact (229) 439-7141 or visit www.theatrealbany.com.

Bethlehem Village: 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m. tours, Dec. 8-9, Pine Cliff Baptist Church, 8193 Pine Cliff Road, Camilla. Interactive walk-through journey of the biblical account of the Christmas story. Free admission. Contact (229) 336-0973.

American Legion Dinner/Dance: Dec. 9, American Legion Post 30, 2916 Gillionville Road. Dinner, 7 p.m.; dancing, 8 p.m.-11 p.m. Music: Ed McRee and Don Turner. Cost: $7, dance only; $10, dinner/dance. Contact (229) 435-5450.

Book signing: Valerie Davis Benton signs copies of her novel, "Greater Heights," 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Dec. 9, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital Gifts From the Heart shop; 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Dec. 10, Veronica Luttrell's Tearoom, Third Avenue and Slappey Boulevard.

Peppermint Pops: 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.,, Dec. 10, Albany Municipal Auditorium, 200 N. Jackson St. The Albany Symphony Orchestra backed by the Albany Chorale and other guests performs holiday favorites. No admission charge, but seating is limited. Contact (229) 430-8933 or visit www.albanysymphony.org.

Messiah sing-along: The Albany Chorale hosts its first "Messiah" sing-along, 7 p.m., Dec. 12, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, downtown Albany. Free admission.

Two Nights Before Christmas: Dec. 23, Albany Municipal Auditorium, 200 N. Jackson St. Greenbriar Church presentation is free admission.

LATER ON

NEARBY

Victorian Christmas: 6 p.m.-10 p.m., Dec. 8-9, downtown Thomasville. Horse-drawn carriages, strolling carolers, holiday shopping, dancers, musicians, museums, food and holiday delicacies and St. Nicholas. Contact 1 (866) 577-3600 or visit@thomasville.org.

Jingle All the Way: 6:30 p.m., Dec. 9, Thomasville Municipal Auditorium. South Georgia Ballet and South Georgia Performing Arts perform rousing tap and jazz revue. Admission: $5. Contact (229) 378-2787 or southgeorgiaballet@hotmail.com.

A Holly, Jolly Christmas: 7 p.m., Dec. 9, Rylander Theatre, Americus. Peformance by the Nancy Jones Studio of the Performing Arts. Admission: $10. Contact (229) 931-0001 or 1 (877) 662.2312 (toll-free) .

Victorian Christmas: Dec. 10, Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village, 1392 Whiddon Mill Road, Tifton. Contact (229) 391-5200.

Christmas parade: 11 a.m., Dec. 10, Fort Gaines. 25th annual parade features Dr. Karen S. Kinsell as grand marshal. Contact (229) 768-2874 or (229) 308-9584.

Christmas at Westville: 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Dec. 10, Westville. Visit Father Christmas, make candles and Christmas cards, listen to Christmas stories and taste holiday fare. Lighting of the Lanterns is at 5 p.m. Admission: adults and children kindergarten-12th grade, $10; seniors, military and college students, $8. Located at 9294 Singer Pond Road, Lumpkin. Contact 1 (888) 733-1850 or info@westville.org.

North Pole Express: Dec. 16-17, Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village, 1392 Whiddon Mill Road, Tifton. Contact (229) 391-5200.

The Coming Up Calendar is a summary of upcoming entertainment events published Wednesdays in SouthView. If you have an item for the Coming Up Calendar, please submit it by 5 p.m. Thursday before publication.

Submissions must be typed, concise and e-mailed to southview@albanyherald.com; faxed to (229) 888-9357, Attn. SouthView; or dropped by our office at 126 N. Washington St.