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Events on the First Coast this weekend

8:49 PM, Dec 14, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Here is a list of events going on around town this weekend:

SATURDAY DECEMBER 1, 2012

THE CHILDREN'S CHRISTMAS PARTY OF JACKSONVILLE: Free new toys are handed out on a first come, first serve basis to Jacksonville's children 12 and younger who otherwise might not receive gifts for the holiday. No ID or advance sign-up is needed, although there will be a lengthy wait line. The event starts at 9 a.m. and lasts until 12:30 p.m. or until all toys are distributed. It's at the Prime Osborn Convention Center on Saturday.

STOCKING STUFFER SIDEWALK SALE: Need to pick up those last-minute holiday gifts? Look no further! Join the Museum of Science and History Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a SALE! Save up to 90% off MOSH store merchandise! Everything must go! Free Starbucks coffee with each purchase!

RIVERSIDE ARTS MARKET: The Riverside Arts Market is every Saturday starting at 10 a.m. off Riverside Avenue underneath the Fuller Warren Bridge. This Saturday, Riverside Arts Market brings you HOLIDAZZLE! -- a festive holiday event & shopping opportunity for the entire family! RAM is extending its hours until 9 p.m. to provide an all-new nighttime experience. More than 100 RAM vendors will be on-site with thousands of gift ideas in their tents adorned with holiday lights and decor.

SANTA'S SECRET ELF BOOK SIGNING: On Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Pineapple Post will host a holiday book signing by local author Kara Anderson-Gogulski. Santa's Secret Elf is a children's book that shares how even Santa needs a little help when he has a request from kids he can't handle. With prayer, faith and a lot of fun, Merryam helps Santa get it all done. For each book purchased, Kara Anderson-Gogulski will donate a copy of the book to BEAM, Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry. For more information contact Susan Hamilton at Pineapple Post, 904-249-7477.

2012 GINGERBREAD HOUSE EXTRAVAGANZA: The 11th annual Gingerbread House Extravaganza returns to historic Old St. Andrews in downtown Jacksonville. This beloved holiday tradition showcases gigantic gingerbread confections, and benefits the children's programs of the Jacksonville Historical Society. Strolling through the competition is a sure way to be swept up in the holiday spirit! The suggested donation for Adults is $5. For children ages 3 -16, the suggested donation is $3. Infants are free. Enjoy the exhibit from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

ADVENTURE LANDING'S WINTERFEST: The second annual WinterFEST is underway at Adventure Landing. Shipwreck Island Waterpark is now a whimsical, alpine snow village with a large, outdoor ice skating rink (with real ice!), a 130-foot ice slide dubbed the "Alpine Racer," nightly snowfalls, s'more roasting, light displays, a chance to meet Santa in his "house", Blizzard Bluff Village offering Christmas cookie decorating, a crafts area, a free holiday carnival, a teddy bear-making factory and Mistletoe Marketplace. Patrons will also get the chance to enjoy Crystal Creek Lodge for an array of winter eats, treats and sweets from hot soups to hot chocolate. The First Coast's longest special event will continue through January 13, 2013. Jaxwinterfest.com.

IN MOCA'S GALLERIES: MYFOCUS: A COMMUNITY RESPONSE TO THE ART OF THE '80s: Members of Jacksonville's creative community will share their stories of life during the 1980s and how they were inspired by the era's most influential artists. Together, we will rediscover the works that shaped our defining decade. Go to www.mocajacksonville.org for details on how you can join the conversation. The discussion will run from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at MOCA downtown.

ZOOLIGHTS: On Saturday from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30p.m., the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens opens up for ZooLights! Thousands of LED lights transformed the Zoo into a winter wonderland filled with moving sculptures, forests of lighted trees and animal silhouettes. It's $9 per entrance and runs through December 31st, but is closed Christmas day.

JACKSONVILLE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA - FIRST COAST NUTCRACKER: Enter the magical world of childlike imagination at one of Jacksonville's greatest holiday traditions. The First Coast Nutcracker will enchant the whole family, showcasing international award-winning principal dancers, our area's finest young dance corps and Tchaikovsky's best-loved melodies played by your Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. There are shows set for Sat, Dec 15 at 2 p.m. & 8 p.m. and Sun, Dec 16 at 2 p.m. at the Times-Union Center.

RITZ FAMILY CHRISTMAS CONCERT: Enjoy a delightful evening as Ritz Voices and Ritz Sound present a rousing mix of your favorite holiday sounds at the Ritz Theatre off Davis St. starting at 7 p.m. Saturday. Jacksonville's very finest young vocalists and musicians will sing and play Christmas standards and exciting new arrangements. This concert is a fundraiser for the RSVP's trip to New Jersey for the McDonald's Gospelfest competition in the spring. Cost: $10

A SNOW DAY ICE SKATING RECITAL: Jacksonville Ice & Sportsplex's Holiday Ice Skating Show is a celebration of the accomplishments of their skaters. Enjoy the progress they've made learning the FUNdamentals and the competitive skaters who are ascending the US Figure Skating Testing System along with seven-time U.S. National Competitor Alex Aiken! The recital starts at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Sportsplex.

THE BIG ORANGE CHORUS: The Big Orange Chorus will hold their 2012 Christmas Show Saturday starting at 7:30 at the Florida Theatre. The Big Orange Chorus is Jacksonville's men's barbershop and a cappella chorus. Cost per person is $25 for adults, $15 for children.

ST. AUGUSTINE NIGHT OF LIGHTS: Nights of Lights is a two-month long celebration of the Holiday Season. Millions of white lights create a magical holiday atmosphere in the Nation's Oldest City during the 18th Annual Nights of Lights Celebration in St. Augustine. Tracing its origins to the Spanish tradition of displaying a lighted white candle during the Christmas holidays, the spectacular lighting reflects the city's 446-year history while creating a beautiful setting for special memories. It begins Saturday at the Plaza de la Constitucion off Kings Street and runs through January 31st. NightsofLights.com.

SUNDAY DECEMBER 2, 2012

YAPPY HOUR CHRISTMAS "PAW-TY": Bring your pooch and join us for the BIGGEST Doggy Christmas "Paw"ty at the Jacksonville Landing Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. B.Y.O.D (bring your own dog) and join us for the final Yappy Hour of the 2012 Season! We'll have live entertainment on the Courtyard stage, free prizes, cash giveaways, drinks specials and more from 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.! He's back and jollier than ever -- Yappy Hour is giving back to local humane societies. Free pooch photos with Santa with any pet food or treat donation, or $5 contribution.

HOLIDAY ON THE RIVER: The 15th Annual Event at the Jacksonville Landing will showcase some of the outstanding talent that our great city & surrounding areas have to offer. Join to celebrate the holidays Sunday from 5 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.

SYNCHRONIZED NIGHTLY TREE LIGHT SHOW: The Jacksonville Landing's 56-foot-tree comes alive each evening, performing a 10-minute synchronized light show with more than 78,000 twinkling lights. The light shows take place every hour, on the hour Sunday through Thursday 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 6 p.m. to midnight.

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