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Dec. 13, 2018
8:25 am


Lanier area events calendar

Outdoors Calendar

2018 Holiday Calendar
Here’s a list of various activities and events in and around the Lake Lanier area for the upcoming holiday season:

Magical Nights of Lights, Buford. Drive through seven miles of holiday lights, stop in for snow tubing, visits with Santa, s’mores, refreshments and more through Jan. 6, Lanier Islands, 7000 Lanier Islands Dr. Various prices.
Winter Wonderland Ice Skating, Cumming. Ice skating at Cumming Fairgrounds rink, various times through Jan. 7, 235 Castleberry Rd.
Christmas in the Mountains, Cleveland. Old fashioned Christmas with carols, hot cocoa and cookies, kids’ activities, crafts, Santa visits, food booths and more, 5-8 p.m., parade with lighted floats 7 p.m., Dec. 1, Cleveland Courthouse Square, Hwy. 129/115, and Freedom Park, East Kytle St.
Old Fashion Christmas, Dahlonega. Parade with Santa, Dec. 1, plus caroling, entertainment, carriage rides, wine sampling and theatre events through Dec. 23, Downtown Dahlonega.
Victorian Christmas, Sautee Nacoochee. See historic farm in period holiday décor, stroll down candlelit carriage road, tour plantation house by candlelight, enjoy hot wassail and cookies, 4-7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 15, Hardman Farm Historic Site, 143 Hwy. 17. $3-$12. 706-878-1077,
Run Run Rudolph 5K, Suwanee. 8:30 a.m. Dec. 1, Inspire Chiropractic, 2615 Peachtree Pkwy. #270. $25-$30.
First Visit-Tour, Helen. Van tour of state park’s covered bridge, Dukes Creek, cottages, 10-11:30 Dec. 1, Smithgall Woods State Park, 61 Tsalaki Trl. $5 parking, donations accepted., 706-878-3087.
Holiday Crafts at the Amphitheatre, Winder. Ages 6 and older create holiday crafts at Campground Amphitheatre, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Dec. 1 &15, Fort Yargo State Park, 210 S. Broad St. $5, plus $5 parking. 770-867-3489,
Christmas at the Gorge, Tallulah Falls. See Santa, make crafts, enjoy a snack, 1-3 p.m. Dec. 1, Tallulah Gorge State Park, 338 Jane Hurt Yarn Dr. $5 parking. 706-754-7981.
Christmas on Green Street, Gainesville. Parade of antique cars and holiday floats, plus choral performances on front porches, strolling musicians, storytelling, jugglers, carriage rides, miniature train rides and more, 4:30-7:15 p.m. Dec. 2, Historic Green Street.
Reindeer Run 5K/10K, Cumming. 8:30 a.m. Dec.  8, Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, 415 Hwy. 53. $25-$30.
Christmas at the Inn, Toccoa. Candlelit holiday traditions with festive music, hot cider, and family recipe teacakes, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 8, Traveler’s Rest Historic Site, 4339 Riverdale Rd. $3-$5. 706-356-4362,
Cookies & Milk with Santa, Gainesville. Festive snacks, holiday crafts, visits with Santa, 1-3 p.m. Dec. 8, Atlanta Botanical Garden Gainesville Garden, 1911 Sweet Bay Dr. $12 adults, $10 children, free to children younger than 3. Register in advance.,  404-888-4760.
Christmas in Cumming Arts & Crafts Festival. Handmade crafts, visits with Santa,  Arts & Craft Festival 4-9 p.m. Dec. 7, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 8;   photos with Santa, 6-9 p.m. Dec. 7, noon.-3 p.m. Dec. 8, Cumming Fairgrounds, 235 Castleberry Rd. Arts & crafts admission $10 adults, free to children 12 and younger.
15th Annual Vogel Tree Lighting, Blairsville. Hayrides, music, and activities lead to Christmas program and tree lighting, 4-7 p.m. Dec. 8, Vogel State Park, 405 Vogel State Park Rd. $5 parking. Bring unwrapped gift for child 12 or younger., 706-745-2628.
3rd Annual Parade of Boats, Lake Lanier. Festively decorated boats parade from marinas to Landshark Landing at Margaritaville, various departure times Dec. 8. Boat entry fees $75-$125.
Christmas in Lights 5K, Hiawassee. 6 p.m. Dec. 8, Georgia Mountain Fairground, 1311 Music Hall Rd. $30.
Breakfast with Santa, Helen. Enjoy buffet breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus, plus holiday crafts, hayride, music and more, 9 a.m.-noon, Dec. 15, Unicoi State Park, 1788 Hwy. 356. $5, plus $5 parking. 706-878-4727,
Fitness in the Park, Gainesville. Intro to Zumba with Cristina Proano, 11 a.m.-noon Dec. 15, City Park Tennis Court, Glenwood Dr. Free.
Christmas in the Cabin, Helen. Enjoy hot chocolate and cider, make a Christmas ornament, relax by the fireplace in primitive cabin, 2-4 p.m. Dec. 15, Smithgall Woods State Park, 61 Tsalaki Trl. $5, plus $5 parking. 706-878-3087,
Cumming Christmas Jingle Jog 5K. 3:30 p.m. Dec. 15, 235 Castleberry Rd. (across from fairgrounds). $25.
Christmas Parade, Cumming. 5-9 p.m. Dec. 15, Cumming Fairgrounds, 235 Castleberry Rd.
Stars over Elachee, Gainesville. View constellations, the moon, planets and stars under the night sky 5:15-7:15 p.m. Dec. 15, Chicopee Lake, 2100 Calvary Church Rd. Suggested for adults and children age 8 and older. Bring flashlight and pencil for night viewing. Register in advance, reserve a telescope. $10 adults, $5 children 2-12. Free to Elachee members., 770- 535-1976.
Jingle All the Way 5K, Dawsonville. 6:30 p.m. Dec. 15, Rock Creek, 445 Martin Dr. $30-$35.
Santa Shuffle 5K/Kids Fun Run, Cumming. 8/9:15 a.m. Dec. 22, Shiloh Elementary School, 8145 Majors Rd. $15-$40.
“The Grinch” 5K/10K/Fun Run, Gainesville. 5K/10K 8 a.m., fun run 9 a.m. Dec. 22, 301 Main St. $22-$40. Includes music, cookies, and hot chocolate., Hall Parks & Leisure Facebook page.
Winter Festival, Winder. Mini-golf, holiday games, crafts and more at the beach area,  6-9 p.m. Dec. 28, Fort Yargo State Park, 210 S. Main St. $20 per vehicle. 770-867-3489,
Ugly Sweater 5K Run, Toccoa. 2 p.m. Dec. 30, Toccoa Falls College, 107 Kincaid Dr. $20.
New Year’s Eve

First Night Dahlonega. More than 20 musical performances at five venues near the town square, plus New Year’s countdown and Nugget Drop, 6 p.m. Dec. 31, Downtown Dahlonega. $10 for First Night button.
Dropping of the Edelweiss/New Year’s Party, Helen. Music, food, party hats & favors, cash bar, dancing, champagne toast, 8 p.m. Dec. 31, Helen Festhalle, 1074 Edelweiss Strasse. $20 person, $35 couple, free to children younger than 6, half price for children 6-12., 706-878-1908.
Unicoi State Park New Year’s Eve Celebration, Helen. Dinner, party and music with Eagles tribute band “No Big Deal,” 6 p.m. Dec. 31-1 a.m. Jan 1, Unicoi State Park Lodge, 1788 Hwy. 356. Packages from dinner only, $50 per person, to $200 dinner, party favors, and room for 2.

First Day Hikes/Runs

New Year’s Day 5K, Cumming. 8:30 a.m. Jan. 1, North Forsyth Middle School, 3845 Coal Mountain Dr. $19-$20.
Resolution Run 5K/Kids Fun Run, Cumming. 10/11:15 a.m. Jan. 1, Fowler Park, 4110 Carolene Way. $15-$35.
Hardman Farm to Helen: 2-mile round trip hike along Chattahoochee River on old Gainesville Rail from Hardman Farm to Helen, passing by historic Nora Mill Granary dam, 10-11 a.m. Jan. 1, Hardman Farm Historic Site, 143 Hwy. 17. $5 parking., 706-878-1077.
Backcountry at Tallulah Falls: 3 miles on backcountry trail, dogs welcome with owners, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Jan. 1, Tallulah Gorge State Park, 338 Jane Hurt Yarn Dr. $5, plus $5 parking. Call to register. 706-754-7981,
Seven-Mile Hike: Hike inner loop trail to see Old Fort and park amenities, 10 a.m. Jan. 1, Fort Yargo State Park, 210 S. Broad St. $5 parking., 770-867-3489.
Unicoi Lake Loop: Naturalist-led 2.5 mile hike around Unicoi Lake, 1-3 p.m. Jan. 1, Unicoi State Park, 1788 Hwy. 356. Participants get free hiking stick medallion or collector’s pin. $5 parking. 706-868-4727,
Duke Creek Falls: Guided 2.3 mile hike to primitive cabin for hot cocoa, continue 2 more miles to Dukes Creek Falls, 1-4 p.m. Jan. 1, Smithgall Woods State Park, 61 Tsalaki Trl. $5 parking., 706-878-3087.
Note: See for events at Don Carter State Park on Lake Lanier.


Gears & Beers Mountain Bike Rides, Gainesville. Cyclists depart Wrenched Bicycles for either East Hall road rides or Chicopee Woods mountain bike rides, return for cold beverages back at shop, 8:30 a.m. Saturdays, 302 Broad St. SE.  Call or check Wrenched Bicycle Facebook for information. 770-287-8842.
Sunday N.H. Tech Rides/Tuesday Interval Rides, Gainesville. Sunday road bike rides roll out at 1:15 p.m. from North Hall Technology Center, 4075 Nopone Rd.; faster Tuesday interval rides start at 6 p.m. at Clermont Park, Clermont Hwy.
Cruz In, Dawsonville. Park in town, look at cars, see friends, 5-9 p.m. third Friday, Downtown Dawsonville.
Garden Train, Story Times, Crafts, Gainesville. Children and family activities, various times, Atlanta Botanical Garden Gainesville Garden, 1911 Sweet Bay Dr. $3 or free with garden admission or membership., 404-888-4760.
Volunteer Work Day, Gainesville. Join Friends of Don Carter State Park for park improvement projects, bring water, gloves and clothes to get dirty, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. third Saturdays, 5000 N. Browning Bridge Rd., 678-450-7726.
Emory Jones Book Signing, Sautee-Nacoochee. Author of “Distant Voices: The Story of the Nacoochee Valley Indian Mound” reads excepts from “The Valley Where They Danced plus tour of Hardman Farm, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. second Saturdays through December, Hardman Farm Historic Site, 143 Hwy 17., 706-878-1077.
Dinner in Time, Winder. Living History Society serves a Dinner in Time with 3-course meal prepared and served in 17th century style in historic fort, 6:30-8:30 p.m. second Saturdays through December, Fort Yargo State Park, 210 S. Broad. Register in advance. $50, plus $5 parking., 770-867-3489.
Fun at the Fort, Winder. Learn about life in late 1700s at historic fort with tours and interactive activities, noon-3 p.m. second Saturdays through December, Fort Yargo State Park, 210 S. Broad St. $5. 770-867-3489,
Home School Exploration Day, Tallulah Falls. Ranger-led educational program for home schoolers covers different outdoor topic each month, 10 a.m.-noon last Thursdays through May, Tallulah Gorge State Park, 338 Jane Hurt Yarn Dr. $5, plus $5 parking. 706-754-7981,

Lake Lanier Olympic Park events

LCKC (Lanier Canoe & Kayak Club)
  • Jan 1 - Polar Bear Plunge
  • Mar. 16 - Lula Bridge Race  
LLRC (Lake Lanier Rowing Club)
  • Dec. - March - Winter/Spring Training
  • Jan. 26 - Mark Williams Ergatta
  • Mar 23-24 - John Hunter Regatta                                               
Other LLOP events
  • Mar. 8 - Food Truck Friday

Other area events

Dec. 1 – Children’s Holiday Ornaments Botanical Style, 10-11 a.m., at Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1911 Sweetbay Dr., Gainesville. Fee: $24-$29, member and non-member. Bring the outdoors in to create original kid art decorations. Pre-K-1 Grade. All supplies provided. Info: 404-888-4763.
Dec. 1 – German Christmas Market, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., South Forsyth High School, 585 Peachtree Parkway, Cumming. Free. The SFHS German Club presents annual market in the War Eagle Dining Hall where high school students teach younger kids seasonal arts and crafts, such as how to make ornaments, build ginger bread houses, etc. Community event. Also, coat drive for homeless has been organized, so gently used work winter clothes would be appreciated. Info: 770-781-2264.
Dec. 1 – Square Dance at First Presbyterian Church gym at 800 South Enota Dr., Gainesville. Tickets: $7. Info: 678-956-0287.
Dec. 2 – North Georgia Chamber Symphony Holiday Concert, 3-5 p.m., at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1397 Thompson Bridge Rd., Gainesville. Free. Features Andrew Santander from UNG play Haydn’s Piano Concerto No. 11 in D Major. Opening with Ginastera’s Danza Final from Estancia. Sibelius’s Rakastava for Strings, Kettle-drums and Triangle follows; also featured Christmas and Hanukkah music, with sing-alongs, and an exciting version of We Three Kings with violin solo performed by Concert Master Anastasia Petrunina.
Dec. 4 – Annual Quilt Show, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Bowen Center for the Arts, 334 Ga. 9N, Dawsonville. Info: 706-216-2787.
Dec. 7 – Appalachian Culture: Myths, Realities and Musical Traditions, 4-5 p.m., at Hall County Library System, Murrayville Branch, 4796 Thompson Bridge Rd., Gainesville. Discussion by Dr. Esther Morgan-Ellis, Assistant Professor of Music at UNG and Barry Whittemore, D.A., M., Div., Lecturer of History at UNG, in depth of topic and demonstrate with recordings and life performances. Info: 770-532-3311, X171.
Dec. 7, 8 – Christmas in Cumming Arts & Crafts Festival, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., at Cumming Fairgrounds, 235 Castleberry Rd., Cumming. Info:
Dec. 11-13 – “Mamma Mia,” 7:30-9:30 p.m., presented by Gainesville High School, Pam Ware Performing Arts Center, 830 Century Place, Gainesville. Tickets: $5-$10. Info:
Brenau University
• Thru Dec. 2 – “The Nutcracker,” presented by the Gainesville Ballet Co. in Brenau’s Pearce Auditorium. Tickets: $20-$28, adults; $16-$24, seniors; $14-$20, children. Times: 7:30 p.m., Nov. 30; 2/7:30 p.m., Dec. 1; 2 p.m., Dec. 2. Info: 770-532-4241.
Info: 770-534-6263;

Buford Community Center
 Thru Dec. 16 – “A Christmas Carol” presented by Theatre Buford. Tickets: $30-$35.
Dec. 18 – John Driskell Hopkins & The Joe Gransden Big Band, 8 p.m. Tickets: $30-$35.
Info: 770 945-6762,

Chateau Elan Winery & Resort

Clarkesville’s Historic Habersham Community Theater
Thru Dec. 9 – “Fruitcakes,” presented by HCT, features a batch of fruitcakes, Christmas Trees, outdoor Christmas lights, a chicken pox epidemic, two Southern spinsters, an estranged old man, a lost cat named Tutti Frutti and a Christmas hog named Buster. Times: 7:30 p.m., evening shows; 2 p.m., matinees.
Info: 706-839-1315;

Cumming Playhouse
 Thru Dec. 16 – “Christmas in Dixie, The Musical,” written by Georgia playwright, Alicia Croxton Dutton. Admission: $25/$27.50.
Dec. 19 – North Georgia Barbershop Singers 2018 perform at 8 p.m. Tickets: $15/$20.
Dec. 20 – Cumming Playhouse Singers 2018 perform at 8 p.m. Tickets: $15/$20.
Dec. 21 – Sounds of Sawnee Concert Band 2018 perform at 8 p.m. Tickets: $15/$20.
Times: 8 p.m., Thurs.-Sat.; 3 p.m., Sun., unless otherwise stated. 
Info:  770 781-9178,

Dahlonega’s Historic Holly Theatre
Thru Dec. 16 – “Annie,” presented. Times: 8 p.m., Fri./Sat.; 2 p.m., Sun. Tickets: $22, adults; $14, students.
Info: 706-530-5162;

Forsyth Academy of Performing Arts
Dec. 5, 8, 9 – “All Shook Up: Wednesday Cast,” features songs of Elvis Presley. Times: 8-9:30 p.m., Dec. 5; 5-6:30 p.m., Dec. 8; 2-3:30- p.m., Dec. 9. 
Dec. 6-8 – “All Shook Up: Thursday Cast.” Times: 8-9:30 p.m.
Dec. 13-15 – “Best Christmas Pageant Ever.” Times: 8-9:30 p.m., Dec. 13, 14; 7-8:30 p.m., Dec. 15.
Dec. 21-23 – “Every Christmas Story Ever Told.” Times: 8-10 p.m., Dec. 21, 22; 2-4:30 p.m., Dec. 23.

Gainesville Theatre Alliance
Info: 678-717-3624;

Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds
Thru Dec.  – Mountain Country Christmas in Lights, 6-9 p.m.
Dec. 15 – A Shaggin' Christmas Concert, with The Tams, Swingin' Medallions & Clarence Carter, at 7 p.m. Tickets: $40 & $30.

Habersham Community Theater

Interactive Neighborhood for Kids
Currently clossed for repair from water damage.
Info: 770 536-1900,

Lake Lanier Islands
Thru Feb. 24 – License to Chill Snow Island joins Magical Nights of Lights to crank up wintry fun at Margaritaville. With one of the fastest snow rides in North America, ice skating, snow play area, fire pits, s’mores, carnival rides and more plus Magical Nights of Lights with an additional 600,000 lights.

North Atlanta Trade Center

Northeast Georgia History Center
Dec. 9 – Family Day-Victorian Christmas. Celebrate and illuminate Holiday Festivities with Santa Claus, living history demonstrations, hands-on activities, special musical, vocal and storytelling performances and seasonal refreshments.

Piedmont College
Dec. 7, 8 – 30th Annual Service of Lessons & Carols presented at 7:30 p.m. in Chapel features Piedmont Choral, Brass Choir, the Sewell Organ, various instrumentalists and a visiting high school chorus.
Info: 706-894-4201,

Quinlan Arts Center
Thru Dec. 14 – Issac Alcantar Exhibit at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center Regions Mini Gallery at 303 Jesse Jewel Parkway, Gainesville. Alcantar lives in Lawrenceville

Tannery Row Artist Colony
Thru Dec. 29 – An Artful Holiday Boutique features in Colony gallery. Open house Nov. 24, 5-8 p.m.; Nov. 25, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Artists will be in their studios and holiday refreshments will be served. Boutique items will be available until Dec. 29.
Thru Dec. 14 – Issac Alcantar Exhibit at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center Regions Mini Gallery at 303 Jesse Jewel Parkway, Gainesville. Alcantar lives in Lawrenceville. His work is inspired by his surrounding and culture.
• Thru Feb. 16 – Winter Exhibitions featuring Eastern League of Professional Artists and Hoschton Heritage Group, as well as artists John Guernsey and Marea Haslett.
Info: 770-904-0572;

University of North Georgia
Dec. 3 – UNG Hawkapellas Christmas Concert, 5-11 p.m., Hoag Student Center, Auditorium.
Dec. 4 – UNG Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band, 7:30-9:30 p.m., present “Russian Christmas Music,” in Carlos and Sandra Cervantes Concert Hall at Riverside Military Academy, 2001 Riverside Dr., Gainesville.
Dec. 5 – Chamber Orchestra Concert, 7-9 p.m., in Gainesville Campus lobby.
Dec. 6 – Winter Jazz Concert, 7:30-9 p.m., Gainesville Campus, Ed Cabell Theatre.
Info: 706-864-1423,

Voices of North Georgia
Presents its 50th Concert Season, 2018-2019
Dec. 1 – Christmas with Voices of North Georgia presented at 7:30 p.m. each evening at St. Paul United Methodist Church, 404 Washington St. NW, Gainesville.
Mar. 9 – Midwinter Gala – Voices’ 50th Anniversary Broadway Gala presented at Gainesville First Baptist Church Banquet Hall, 715 Green St., Gainesville. Doors open, 7 p.m.
May 3, 4 – The American Voice at 7:30 p.m. in Main Sanctuary of Gainesville First Baptist Church, 751 Green St., Gainesville.
Info: 678-591-1545;

Arts Council Page December 2018

- compliled by Jane Harrison and Millie Adcox

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