Oro Valley Festival of the Arts, the annual presentation of the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance, features food, music, art and more this Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 4 and 5, at Oro Valley Marketplace.

The free event runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Festivities start with a tree-lighting ceremony from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3. A 25-foot Christmas tree will tower over the Marketplace. The Friday night celebration, co-hosted by the Town of Oro Valley, features music and dance shows by local schools, a fire pit with s’mores sponsored by Golder Ranch Fire District, and crafts and cookie decorating presented by Best Buy.

The weekend festival offers “a one-of-a-kind experience … where shoppers can discover local artwork and vegetarian options for food in an eco-friendly shopping center,” a release said.

Guests can find unique and hand-made holiday gifts, including jewelry, sculptures, textiles, photography, framed paintings, candles, glass art, custom wood creations, pottery and ceramics, metal work, clothing and much more.

Santa Claus is taking requests from children, while photographers capture special moments between the jolly, old legend and kids. Youngsters can also jump around on play areas and partake in arts-and-crafts activities.

Food vendors serve festival-goers vegetarian wraps, chile relleno, vegetable frittata, turkey legs, brats, pulled pork, cookies, lemonade and more.

2010 Oro Valley Festival of the Arts

Saturday, Dec. 4, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 5, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Oro Valley Marketplace, southwest corner of Oracle and Tangerine roads

Free admission

Shoppers can find unique holiday gifts, including jewelry, sculptures, textiles, photography, framed paintings, hand-made candles, glass art, custom wood creations, pottery and ceramics, metal work, clothing and much more, while enjoying live performances, a Santa Claus appearance, an array of food and pre-festival tree lighting ceremony.

http://www.orovalleyfestival.org/

797-3959

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