As the weather gets colder, it can be tempting to curl up with hot chocolate and a roaring fire, but throughout the month of December, members of Carroll County towns and organizations will be trying their hardest to pull visitors to a whole host of holiday events.
Nothing says a holiday celebration like its ability to bring a diverse community together for an evening of cheer. This Friday, Dec. 5, Sykesville is hosting a two-day celebration of the holidays with 12 Hours of Christmas, where the shops on Main Street will remain open until 10 p.m., while the town hosts live music, wine and refreshments.
Saturday, Dec. 6, the town will host a Merry Main Street event from 1 to 9 p.m. at the Town House and Main Street with costumed characters, crafts, carolers, cupcake making and model trains.
That same evening, Westminster will dive headfirst into the holidays with a series of events, including a Holiday House Tour from 3 to 7 p.m. along Willis Street, starlight shopping from 5 to 10 p.m. in downtown Westminster and visits with Santa from noon to 4 p.m. on the library lawn. Tickets to the Holiday House Tour are $10 and may be purchased by calling 410-848-9000.
From gentle carolers marching through the snow to incessantly unending renditions of "All I Want For Christmas is You" blasting through your supermarket, a major facet of the holiday season is music. This December, Carroll will be the home to a series of holiday concerts hitting a number of different genres of holiday music.
For those who prefer their holiday music infused with other genres, opportunities to check out holiday music in the style of jazz, big bands, folk and rock 'n' roll will be offered.
Saturday, Dec. 6, Walt Michael will perform a selection of Southern Appalachian, Celtic and old-time holiday music. The concert will feature Scottish fiddler Pete Clark and accordion player Gregor Lowrey joining Michael on the hammered dulcimer. The concert will take place at 8 p.m. at the Carroll Arts Center, 91 W. Main St., Westminster. Tickets are $25 for adults and $22 for seniors older than 65, children younger than 19 and McDaniel students.
The Big Band Merry Christmas concert will be held 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, at the Westminster High School Auditorium, 1225 Washington Road, Westminster. Advance tickets are $12 for adults, $7 for students, and at the door are $15 for adults and $10 for students. Money raised by the concert will go to support Access Carroll.
Join Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang at the Carroll Arts Center the following weekend for the Carroll Arts Center's annual Charlie Brown Jazz Christmas showing and performance. The event pairs a screening of the classic Bill Melendez special, "A Charlie Brown Christmas," with a live performance of the animated program's groundbreaking Vince Guaraldi score by the Eric Byrd Trio. Shows will take place 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21. Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for members, youths 18 and younger and seniors 60 and older.
For those who can't decide what style of music best fits their holiday mood, the JoeyDCares Rock Orchestra will perform a free concert at Carroll Hospital Center, 200 Memorial Ave., Westminster, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13. The event will feature a blend of rock, pop, motown and jazz performed on everything from tubas to electric guitars.
If that concert seems too far removed from the days of yore, check out the Westminster Ringers' classical holiday concert at Carroll Community College, 1601 Washington Road, Westminster at 7:30 p.m. that same night. Tickets to the event are $12 for adults, $10 for children between the ages of 5 and 12, and seniors older than 60.
For those on a budget, free concerts include Coffey Music's holiday recital running from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Carroll Arts Center, Thursday, Dec. 4, the Eldersburg Branch of the Carroll County Public Library's holiday performance by the Carroll County String Project at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7, and Westminster United Methodist Church's Music on Main Street at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 14, featuring an expanded choir of more than 40 singers as well as a harp and organ.
Along with the holiday season come people's favorite winter stories. Carroll will host productions of two of these classics, as well as a screening of one newly minted favorite.
For 12 years, the Carroll County Dance Center has held an annual production of "The Nutcracker" in December, featuring dancers from their ranks of students. This show will be performed at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21, at Carroll Community College, 1601 Washington Road, Westminster. Tickets are $23 in advance and $25 at the door.
Much as Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by three ghostly apparitions, on Friday, Dec. 12 and Saturday, Dec. 13, Carroll will be visited by the performers of the Maryland Ensemble Theatre for a production of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." The performance will be held 8 p.m. both nights with an afternoon performance at 3 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $17 for adults, $15 for arts council members, seniors older than 60 and students younger than 18.
Finally, for families that just can't "Let It Go" after more than a year of theatrical and home video screenings, Carroll Arts Center, 91 W. Main St., Westminster, will hold two special free screenings of the Disney film "Frozen" along with specially made frozen treats and the opportunity to meet with characters from the film at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6.
Reach staff writer Jacob deNobel at 410-857-7890 or firstname.lastname@example.org.