A lighted monument, a mayor's parade and a Charm City take on Dickens: the best of Baltimore's A&E scene this week

Washington Monument lighting

Baltimore’s tallest Christmas tree, and, as far as we know, the only one made of marble, gets all lit up for the holidays — what better excuse for a party? Beginning at 5 p.m. Dec. 6, enjoy food from a few dozen vendors (from the Akbar Restaurant to Zeke’s Coffee), beer and wine, photos with Mr. Claus and live performances from Kristen Toedtman & The Community Chorus of Peabody, OrchKids, City College Choir and Morgan State Choir. Don’t forget the kids corner, with face painting, balloon twisters, stilt walkers, crafts and more. And everything gets topped off with a glorious fireworks display beginning at 8 p.m. Events take place at and around the monument, Charles and Monument streets. Free. godowntownbaltimore.com.

Mayor’s Christmas Parade

For the 46th time, the communities of Hampden and Medfield play host to a traveling holiday salute, this year featuring floats, local TV and radio personalities, more than 100 Harley-Davidson motorcycles, a steam calliope, bands, the Mummers (wouldn’t be a parade without the Mummers!) and, of course, Miss Yuletide and Jr. Miss Yuletide. Santa, too, we’re told. Kicks off at 1 p.m. Dec. 2 at Poly/Western high schools, Falls Road and Cold Spring Lane, then heads south on Falls Road, east on 36th Street and north on Chestnut Avenue, ending at 37th Street. mayorschristmasparade.com.

Handel’s Messiah

What would the Christmas season be without attending a performance of Handel’s masterwork? Edward Polochick leads the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, with help from the Concert Artists of Baltimore Symphonic Chorale and soloists. 8 p.m. Dec. 8, 3 p.m. Dec. 9 at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St. $12.50-$80. bsomusic.org.

‘The Nutcracker’

And what would the holidays be without “The Nutcracker,” complete with its sugarplum fairies, wooden soldiers, etc.? Permit us to offer two possibilities. Elementary- and high-school-age students from the Baltimore School for the Arts, 712 Cathedral St., will present the holiday staple at 7 p.m. Dec. 7 and 14, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Dec. 8 and 15. $20 (bsfa.org). Or you can check out the dancers from Harford County’s Ballet Chesapeake, whose performances at Towson University’s Stephens Hall Theatre, 7900 Stephens Ave., are set for 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Dec. 8, 1 p.m. Dec. 9. $19-$25 (balletchesapeake.org).

‘Anastasia’

A musical take on the enduring possibility that Princess Anastasia somehow escaped when the czar and his family were murdered during the Russian Revolution, freely adapted from the 1997 animated film. Could the amnesiac Anya really be of royal blood? 8 p.m. Dec. 4-8, 2 p.m. Dec. 8, 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Dec. 9 at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center at the Hippodrome, 12 N. Eutaw St. $99-$199. france-merrickpac.com.

Miniature Holiday Exhibition

Scores of miniature artworks, most smaller than a foot square, will be on exhibit (and for sale) at the Y: Art Gallery, 3402 Gough St. Includes “Travelling Light,” an international exhibition of small-scale sculptures by members of the Yorkshire Sculptors Group (U.K.) and Baltimore Sculptors Inc. Dec. 5-Jan. 12, with an opening reception set for 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Dec. 8. Free admission. Noon-6 p.m. Wednesdays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays. yartgalleryandfinegifts.com.

Chris Young

The country star and man responsible for “Gettin’ You Home (The Black Dress Song)” brings his Losing Sleep world tour to Royal Farms Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St. Also performing: Dan+Shay and Morgan Evans. 7 p.m. Dec. 6. $45.50-$85.50. royalfarmsarena.com.

‘The Importance of Being Earnest’

Oscar Wilde’s timeless farce of marriage, morality and mistaken identity, as two women compete for the affections of a man named Ernest, is presented at Everyman Theatre, 315 W. Fayette St. Kicks off with a teens-only dinner and meet-the-artists event at 5:30 p.m. ($10) and a 7 p.m. pay-what-you-can preview on Dec. 2, then runs Dec. 4-30 (Wednesdays-Sundays, plus Dec. 4). $25-$65. everymantheatre.org.

‘A Christmas Carol’

Charles Dickens’ classic tale of ghosts, excessive frugality and repentance, transported to Victorian-era Baltimore. Opens with an 8 p.m. preview Dec. 5, then will be performed Dec. 7-23 at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays (plus Dec. 19), 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays (plus Dec. 23), 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. $16-$65. chesapeakeshakespeare.com.

Pearl Harbor Memorial Ceremony

Adm. Karl Schultz, commandant, United States Coast Guard, will be the keynote speaker at a service to honor all those who served during World War II. Noon Dec. 7 aboard the USCGC Taney, the last vessel afloat to have been on-site and in the water when the Japanese attacked 77 years ago. Pier 5, 701 E. Pratt St. Free. historicships.org.

ckaltenbach@baltsun.com

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