'Festival of Trees'
The sounds of jingle bells and Christmas carols, the glow of thousands of brightly twinkling lights, and the spicy aroma of hot cider and gingerbread will fill the Cow Palace at the Maryland State Fairgrounds this weekend. The annual Kennedy Krieger Institute's "Festival of Trees," which benefits children with disabilities, features more than 300 lavishly decorated trees, wreaths and gingerbread houses. Live entertainment, a miniature train garden, a children's sports area, arts and crafts, and, of course, Santa are also part of the festivities. The fairgrounds are at York and Timonium roads in Timonium. Hours are 10 a.m.-9 p.m. tomorrow-Saturday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. A weekend pass is $4 and $8. Call 443-923-7300.
'Visionary Bazaar' at AVAM
This weekend, help the American Visionary Art Museum celebrate its sixth birthday. The museum is offering workshops, live entertainment and lots of shopping at a "Visionary Bazaar." From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. tomorrow through Sunday, you can watch Tibetan monks as they create a sacred sand mandala (a three-dimensional sand painting). Bring your favorite junk scraps to a series of trashy workshops from noon to 4 p.m. tomorrow. Philadelphia and Baltimore junkmeisters will help you breathe life into the scraps. Shop for the holidays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at a barn-full of original creations by regional artists. At 10 a.m. Saturday, cheer on Bong, the piano-playing dog. And Saturday, at high noon, attend a "Kinetic Sculpture Race Pep Rally." Some events are free with museum admission of $3-$6; there is an additional charge for others. The museum is at 800 Key Highway. Call 410-244-1900.
Chart-topping, multiplatinum, Grammy Award-winning singer / songwriter Brian McKnight will blend ballads, gospel, rock, funk and R&B; sounds at a benefit concert beginning at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Arthritis Foundation, Maryland Chapter. R&B; vocalist Tyrese also performs. Tickets are $35-$45. Call 410-481-SEAT.
THREE IRISH TENORS; DOC SEVERINSEN
Get into the holiday spirit with the Three Irish Tenors beginning at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St. The trio will create an Irish Christmas with the help of soprano Jacqueline Whelan, a storyteller, a comedian and a group of singers and dancers -- all from the Emerald Isle. Tickets are $22-$42.
If swing is your thing, come to the Meyerhoff at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday for a concert led by Doc Severinsen, a fixture on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show for more than two decades. The Grammy Award winner and his band will be playing sizzling jazz and big-band tunes. Admission is $28-$48. Call 410-783-8000.
'Diary of a Mad Black Woman'
Meet Charles, a successful businessman, and Helen, his devoted wife. They live in a mansion far away from the inner city. Helen is bursting with pride as she prepares for the couple's 20th wedding anniversary. But her almost-perfect life is about to take a wild U-turn -- Charles wants to leave her for her best friend. Get all the dishy details when Tyler Perry's musical stage play, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, is performed Tuesday through Dec. 2 at the Lyric Opera House, 140 W. Mount Royal Ave. Times vary. Tickets are $20.50-$33.50. Call 410-481-SEAT.
Towson antiques show
Formal and country furniture, decorative and fine arts, porcelains, linens and collectibles are only part of the offerings at the Towson Thanksgiving Antiques Show & Sale this weekend at Towson Center, Towson University, 8000 York Road. More than 70 antiques dealers from 12 states will offer their wares at the 22nd annual event. Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $6, good for repeated entry. Call 301-933-9433; 410-704-3991 during the show.
Lonestar at UMBC
Two weeks ago, Lonestar was named the 2001 Country Music Association Vocal Group of the Year. Tomorrow, the four country / pop stars -- Dean Sams (keyboard), Michael Britt (guitar), Keech Rainwater (drums) and Richie McDonald (lead vocals) -- will perform in a concert to benefit "93.1 WPOC One New Toy Campaign" at the UMBC Field House, Wilkens Avenue in Catonsville. Joining Lonestar will be country performers Jamie O'Neal and Blake Shelton. Concert time is 7 p.m. Please bring an unwrapped new toy for distribution to area shelters. Tickets are $32.50 and $42.50. Call 410-481-SEAT.
'The Music Man'
Follow the antics of con artist-turned-conductor Harold Hill when The Music Man plays at the Morris A. Mechanic Theatre Tuesday through Dec. 2. Smooth-talking Hill does his best to convince the citizens of River City, Iowa, that he can teach their children to play in a marching band. The plot thickens after Marian, the town librarian, discovers his secret. The Meredith Willson musical features such classic songs as "Till There Was You," "Gary, Indiana" and "Seventy-Six Trombones." The Mechanic is at 25 Hopkins Plaza. Times vary. Tickets are $20-$67.50. Call 410-752-1200.