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The Winterhaven Festival of Lights begins Saturday, Dec. 14

CreativeMornings December. If you’re a morning person, you’re going to love this free breakfast lecture series where guest speakers talk about a different theme each month. This month, Amy Munoz, VP for utilization management at CODAC Health, Recovery & Wellness, is speaking about the theme of silence at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Munoz has had a long career as a therapist specializing in trauma, brief solution-focused intervention and cognitive behavioral therapy. She’ll be talking about her years in the field and the power of silence in this dialogue that comes with networking, coffee, food and lots of free knowledge. 8:30 to 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 13. MOCA Tucson, 265 S. Church Ave. 

Queen Astara’s Winter Fairy Lights. Magic happens all year long at Valley of the Moon Tucson, where fairies roam freely (or at least where the magic of kindness is celebrated). Join the fairy monarchs, Queen Astara and King Astara for a night where the magic of the Valley of the Moon and the magic of the holidays come together for an extra special experience. The grounds will be decorated with festive lights and decorations, and you can stroll through and keep an eye out for fairies and other magical creatures. Just be sure to keep your voice down, so you don’t spook them! You’re welcome to dress up if you’d like as well! 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. Valley of the Moon Tucson, 2544 E. Allen Road. $5, or free for members and kids 17 and under.

Holiday Ornament Making. In case you haven’t been to Mission Garden yet, it’s a project led by Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace, an organization dedicated to recreating and preserving the city’s historic structures and landscapes. So, the garden is recreation of a Spanish Colonial fruit and veggie garden, complete with a native plant area and plenty of info on agricultural history. At this event, steep yourself in equal parts history, botany and holiday spirit by using items from the gardens, like gourds and okra pods, to make holiday decorations. 9 a.m. to noon. Saturday, Dec. 14. Mission Garden, 946 W. Mission Lane.

Southern Arizona Women’s Chorus Holiday Concert. Tucson’s premier women’s chorus has been around since 1981, and has grown to more than 70 members. Over the years, they’ve sung everything from music from the late Baroque period to Broadway medleys to jazzy sambas. Their holiday concert, A Spanish Allelu, is a program that will  either have you wanting to sing, or being glad that there are people who can sing so you don’t have to—depending on what kind of person you are. Either way, you’re in for a night of beautiful music. 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. at Hope City Church, 5729 E. 22nd St. 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 22 at Ascension Lutheran Church, 1220 W. Magee Road. $20, or fee for kids 10 and under.

Season’s Greetings: Return to Sender. Tucson Desert Voices, Arizona’s premier LGBTQ+ chorus, is all about understanding, cooperation and peaceful coexistence. In fact, their mission statement is “Fostering Community Through Song.” Who could be better to perform during the holidays, a time that’ supposed to be all about loving your neighbor and goodwill toward humanity and all that jazz? They’ll be putting their own stamp on many of the messages of the season in this absolute romp of a show. 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15. Tucson Jewish Community Center, 3800 E. River Road. $20 in advance or $25 at the door.

“A Christmas Carol” & Dickens Festival. Is it really the holidays if you don’t experience some form of “A Christmas Carol”? Whether you watch the Muppets’ artful take on it, enjoy Bill Murray’s turn in “Scrooged” or just read the actual book, it’s sort of a must. This year, why not watch a cast of professional and aspiring Tucson actors perform the musical version, complete with a live orchestra? You can also enjoy a preshow where you can hear “firsthand” from an actor playing Charles Dickens about how he thought up the show, and check out the free Dickens festival, with vendors like Forg & Firkin, treats, and caroling. Preshow & show at 6:20/7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 13, at 1:20/2 p.m. and 6:20 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, and at 1:20/2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 15. Dickens Festival opens two hours before each show. Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway Blvd.  $15 to $29 in advance, with $5 added to prices at the door.

Holidays at the Markets. The local farmers market circuit provides plenty to celebrate all year ’round, but this week, they’re all having special holiday-themed events. On Friday, Dec. 13, Udall Park Farmers Market (7202 E. Tanque Verde Road) had live music and vendor specials. On Saturday, Dec. 14, Steam Pump Ranch (10901 N. Oracle Road) will have live music, more than 50 food vendors and artisan goods. Also on Saturday, the Rincon Valley Farmers & Artisans Market (12500 E. Old Spanish Trail) will have holiday kids activities, live music and vendor deals. And on Saturday, Dec. 15, the Rillito Park market (4502 N. First Ave) will have live music, vendor specials, a free holiday raffle and 80+ vendors. Hours for all are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Lightwire Theater: A Very Electric Christmas. We try not to overuse words like “dazzling” here at the Foothills News, but if ever there were a time to use it, it would be for this show, in which dancers and glow-in-the-dark puppets tell a story entirely through movement, set to holiday music by the likes of Nat King Cole, Mariah Carey and Tchaikovsky. The gist of the plot is about a young family of birds flying south for the winter, when young Max gets blown off course and winds up at the North Pole, where he runs into dancing poinsettias, caroling worms, Nutcracker soldiers and an  evil rat king. Your kids will love it. You will love it. It’s lovable. 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13. Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress St. $19.50 to $37.50.

Fixing Conservation With Duct Tape: A Story of Science, Zoos and Snakes. This is the very last talk in the College of Sciences’ fall series of café talks, and what a fun note to end on! Brian Blais, a Ph.D student in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment, is the last speaker in a subseries all about water. How does fluctuation in rivers and water supply affect humans, animals and places? What “kinds” of water exist in different ecosystems? Are their clues to be gained from the way water and life interact in far-off places like Africa and far-off times like the last ice age? 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12. Borderland Brewing, 119 E. Toole Ave.

50th Annual Fourth Avenue Winter Street Fair. Holy cow. As if this event could be any more of a big extravaganza (it brings in more than half a million people every year), this is the golden anniversary edition. Get on down there for a day full of holiday shopping, shopping for yourself, live & local entertainment, and so much delicious fun. It’s one of those events that’s wonderful to walk around just for the spectacle, even if you end up not buying anything at all. And funds raised will support the infrastructure, surrounding neighborhoods and fellow nonprofits of Fourth Avenue. See ya at the fair! 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, through Sunday, Dec. 15. Historic Fourth Avenue, 434 E. Ninth St. 

Winterhaven Festival of Lights Opening Night. Maybe you grew up in a town where there was always that one neighborhood that got particularly decked out for the holidays. You and your family would sip at hot chocolate and try to guess how many miniature light bulbs were on the roof of a local mansion. If you grew up in Tucson, you know that the Winterhaven Festival of Lights is on a completely different level. There are millions of lights on houses all through the neighborhood, with themes ranging from zoo animals to Frozen to classic Christmas movies. The streets are closed to cars so everyone can safely and freely take in the sights. And it’s a holiday experience like no other. Be sure to bring a food donation for the Southern Arizona Community Food Banks! 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, to Sunday, Dec. 29. Winterhaven Neighborhood.

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