Santa and Mrs. Claus wave to the crowd as they ride on their float in the Albany Celebration of Lights parade on Dec. 1, 2012. (Albany Herald file photo)
The holiday season is going full bore this week, with one of the busiest Saturdays of the year coming up.
SCHOOL’S IN SESSION: After a week of holiday vacation for Thanksgiving, students in the Dougherty and Lee County public school systems return to classes today. Take care when traveling through school zones and when approaching school crosswalks.
DOUGHERTY COUNTY COMMISSION: 10 a.m. work session, room 120, Government Center, 222 Pine Ave. The agenda includes appointments to various local boards and authorities, including two news members to the Hospital Authority of Albany-Dougherty County.
WARD II RUNOFF: The runoff election for Ward II of the Albany City C ommission is today. Incumbent Ivey Hines is challenged by Bobby Coleman. Ward II polling places are open 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
ALBANY CITY COMMISSION: The commission does not meet this week. Its next scheduled meeting is a work session set for 8:30 a.m. Dec. 17 in room 120 of the Government Center, 222 Pine Ave.
MAYOR’S MOTORCADE DONATIONS: This is the last day to make a donation to this year’s Mayors’ Christmas Motorcade, which takes gifts annually to patients at Georgia’s regional mental health and mental retardation hospitals. Donations of new, unwrapped items are being accepted at the Albany Recreation and Parks office, 1301 N. Monroe St.; the mayor’s Government Center office, 222 Pine Ave., Suite 580, and the Engineering Department office, 240 Pine Ave., Suite 200. For more information, contact (229) 430-5222.
LEESBURG CITY COUNCIL: The council meets at 6 p.m. at Leesburg City Hall. No agenda was available Friday.
WG&L COMMISSION: The utility board meets at 8 a.m. at the Albany Water, Gas & Light headquarters, 207 Pine Ave.
CHRISTMAS NUNSENSE: Theatre Albany opens its holiday production a day earlier than normal. The theater, 514 Pine Ave., will present “Nuncrackers,” a musical comedy, with shows at 8 p.m. today, Friday and Dec. 12-14, along with 2:30 p.m. matinees on Sunday and Dec. 15.
SYLVESTER CHRISTMAS PARADE: The annual downtown Christmas parade in Sylvester is set to start at 6 p.m.
FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS: Chehaw opens its annual Festival of Lights at 6 p.m. The lighted drive and train ride will be operating 6 p.m.-9 p.m. through Sunday, and then the same hours on Dec. 11-24 and 26-29. Chehaw is located at 105 Chehaw Road off Philema Road.
NEVERLAND ARRIVES: The Ballet Theatre of the South presents “Peter Pan” at 7:30 p.m. at the Albany Municipal Auditorium, 200 N. Jackson St. Performances are also scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
PEARL HARBOR DAY: This is 72nd anniversary of the sneak attack by Japanese aircraft launched from six carriers on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, which was then a territory of the United States. More than 350 Japanese planes attacked the base, beginning at 7:48 a.m. local time. Killed in the assault were 2,402 Americans and 1,282 Americans were injured. Four of the eight battleships stationed at pearl Harbor were sunk, though two were recovered and returned to service along with the remaining four damaged battleships. Also damaged or sank were three destroyers, three cruisers, a mine ship and a training vessel, while 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed. The United States declared war on Japan Dec. 8 and on Dec. 11 Germany and Italy declared war on the United States.
KIWANIS PANCAKE BREAKFAST: The Kiwanis Club of Dougherty County hosts its annual all-you-can-eat Pancake Breakfast 7:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 2126 Edgewater Drive. Tickets: $6; no charge, children under age 6 dining with parents. Eat in or take out. Proceeds help fund the activities and projects of Kiwanis of Dougherty County in benefiting children in Dougherty and Lee counties.
CHRISTMAS ALL OVER: If you’re not a fan of the holidays, you might not want to venture out today because there is plenty going on. Phoebe’s Jingle Bell Jog is at 8 a.m. in Albany, followed by the Leesburg Christmas parade at 10 a.m. with Miss Georgia Carly Mathis serving as grand marshal. The Holly Berry Market also opens at 10 a.m. at St. Teresa’s Church, 417 Edgewood Lane. The Albany Symphony Orchestra and Mithril have Celtic holiday music performances at 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Darton State College’s theater. And tens of thousands of people are expected to line the streets of downtown Albany at 6 p.m. for the annual Celebration of Lights parade, including the lighting of the Albany Christmas tree in memory of the late Joe Courson. Activities start at 5 p.m. You can get the complete rundown of events, as well as some outside the metro area, in the Coming Up calendar in Wednesday’s SouthView section.
A TRIUMPHANT CHRISTMAS: The Albany State University Chorale and Chamber Singers present their annual Christmas concert at 7:30 p.m. at St. Teresa’s Church, 417 Edgewood Lane.