Entertainment abound in area around Christmastime

From staff reports

EDITOR'S NOTE: We will be running a long list of events on our web sites throughout the holiday season and in the paper several times a week. If you want your event added, e-mail us your information at bpaslay@news-daily.com .

Whether it's live theater, a singing Christmas tree, a blockbuster movie, ballet or a fine concert you won't be short of things to do this Christmas season in Henry and Clayton counties.

Adding to the existing theater screens in the counties, Great Escape Stadium 16 in McDonough will open its new theater to the public on Dec. 2. Workers have been working hard to get the new facility open in time for the holidays.

“We're excited and we're ready to go,” said Steve Menschell, the vice president of operations for Great Escape Theatres.

Across the area, Harry Potter continues to pack them in with some theaters in Clayton County showing multi-screens to accommodate the crowds.

Harry, the 14-year-old wizard, and his sidekicks are now entering his fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Set against the backdrop of the Tri-wizard Tournament, Harry does battle with the dark force, Lord Voldemort. The Goblet of Fire is drawing in Potter fans of all ages across Clayton and Henry counties. In its first weekend it grossed more than $100 million in its world premier and could outpace other movies featuring the same characters.

But Superman flies back onto the screen and a number of other movies are packing them in also.

If movies are not your thing or if you want something more Christmasy, there are a lot of things to draw you in:

– At Spivey Hall on the Clayton State campus jazz saxophonist David Sanchez will perform at 8:10 p.m. Dec. 3 ($30 admission); a Celtic Yuletide with Michael Londra, Irish tenor, will be Sunday Dec. 4 at 3 p.m. ($25); Spivey Hall Young Artists with the Spivey Hall Children's Choir, Friday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. ($15); Spivey Hall Children's Choir, Dec. 10 and 11 at 3 p.m. ($15); Christopher Parkening, classical guitar artist and baritone Jubilant Sykes, Dec. 17 at 8:15 p.m. ($45); Joe Gransden's Holiday Special will be held at 3 p.m. Dec. 18 ($20).

– The 17th annual Music of the Season will be presented by Tara Winds with Dr. David Gregory conducting and Dr. Andrea Strauss assisting. Southern Crescent Chorale, Starr's Mill High Concert Choir, Dutchtown Middle School Choir and Festival Ballet will all perform with special guest soloists Amber Harris and Matt McCord. It is 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3 at Clayton County Scholls Performing Arts Center. Admission is free.

– The Atlanta Festival Ballet presents the traditional holiday classic The Nutcracker Nov. 26 and 27 at 2:30 p.m. at the Clayton County Schools Performing Arts Center at 2530 Mt. Zion Pkwy. in Jonesboro. The ballet will be performed Dec. 17 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 18 at 2:30 p.m. at the Henry County Schools Performing Arts Center at 37 Lemon St. in McDonough. Tickets are $18 for adults and $15 for students and seniors. A group discount is available. For ticket information, call Mail & More at (770) 507-6962.

– Join the lighting of the Locust Grove Christmas Tree at City Hall on Thanksgiving night, Nov. 24, at 7 p.m. The event will feature special music, Christmas carols and the arrival of Santa Claus on the fire truck.

– “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” plays at the Henry County Performing Arts Center on Friday, Nov. 25 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 26 at 7:30 p.m. It plays Sunday, Nov. 27 at 2 p.m. Tickets are on sale at Moye's Pharmacy, Gloria's Hallmark, Damon's Design Team and Mail & More in Stockbridge. Call (770) 914-1474.

– The Downtown Old Fashioned Christmas sponsored by Locust Grove Better Hometown will be Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is free for children and will include pictures with Santa, music, a hay ride , face painting and other events. Call (770) 692-2320.

– The lighting of the Heritage Park Christmas tree will be during a celebration Dec. 3 from 2 to 6 p.m., which will include entertainment, crafts, pictures with Santa, hay rides and more. Heritage Park is located at 101 Lake Dow Road, McDonough. For more information, call the Henry County Parks and Recreation Department (770) 954-2031.

– Tanger Outlet Center in Locust Grove is inviting frazzled shoppers to relax and enjoy the sounds of the holidays with a special Holiday Choral Celebration Dec. 10 at the mall. Sixth, 7th and 8th graders will sing in the holidays with a selection of favorite holiday classics. Henderson Middle School will also be bringing a 20-person hand bell choir to join the performance. The performance begins at 2 p.m.

– Christmas with the Arts, sponsored by the Henry Arts Alliance, will be held on Sunday, Dec. 4 at 3 p.m. in the Henry Performing Arts Center in McDonough. This is the 13th year that the Alliance has sponsored this seasonal “gift to the community.” Again this year the Alliance is asking that everyone bring an item of staple goods (canned, bagged, or boxed food) or paper goods (tissue, towels, copy paper, etc.) to be distributed to Haven House and the Helping in His Name Food Pantry.

Everyone is invited and your donation is the only admission charge.

– An Ante-bellum Christmas is planned at Stately Oaks Plantation in Jonesboro. Dec. 9 and 10 at 7:30 to 9:30

Step back to 1863 Call Brenda Jenkins (770) 473-9855.

– Living Christmas Tree to Perform at First Baptist Church in Jonesboro Dec. 2 and 3 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Dec. 4 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Call (770) 478-6710. Tickets are free.

– Back to Bethlehem planned at Forest Park Baptist Church Saturday Dec. 10 at 5:30 p.m. and Dec. 11 at 5:30 p.m.

Dinner theater Saturday and Dessert theater Sunday. Call (404) 366-6333.

– On Sunday, Dec. 11 at 6 p.m. Pinecrest Baptist Church of McDonough will meet at Dutchtown High School.

Southern gospel singing Admission is free. Call (678) 432-2015.

– Community Christmas Concert set at Living Way Church Stockbridge, 5295 Ga. Highway 155 North Dec. 17

Come join Michael English. Admission per person is a canned good or a new, unwrapped toy.

– Victorian candlelight Christmas tours at Stately Oaks Plantation Dec. 1, 2, 3, Dec. 5,6,7,8, 12-17 at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Can tour grounds after tour. For additional information, call (770) 473-0197