This weekend, there are more Christmas concerts this weekend than you can shake a stick at, even if you picked up my yard and used every stick-waving kid at the local elementary school to help. Yep, there are that many. For a good long list, of concerts, that is, check it out here.
Feed the hungry and your soul
If life is a film and music the soundtrack, as piano man George Winston has said, then Winston himself may be giving away the concessions. Hear some of Winston’s soundtrack at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Morris University Center on the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville campus. The proceeds are going to the Glen-Ed Pantry.
Winston has released 13 solo piano albums. His most recent are Gulf Coast Blues & Impressions 2–A Louisiana Wetlands Benefit (2012) and Love Will Come-The Music of Vince Guaraldi Vol 2 (2010). Guaraldi is best known for his work on the soundtrack for “A Charlie Brown Christmas”; Winston also has an album of solo piano music from The Doors.
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General admission, $30 for adults and $17 for students with an ID. Proceeds will go to area food banks and service organizations, a tradition Winston has honored since a concert in 1986. His artist royalties from an upcoming album will go to cancer research; and proceeds from a single go to Feeding America.
Look for a star
The Second Annual Drive-Through Live Nativity is in memory of the man who came up with the event, Pastor Micheal Barnes, and this year will be much like the first, says Colleen Henderson, of Meadow Heights Baptist Church. Barnes died in October.
“It’s pretty close to the same,” she said, featuring four distinct scenes, including Mary with the angel.
“We run two shifts so people aren’t standing in place the whole two hours,” Henderson said, adding that about 50 people assist with the production, including those who hand out CDs that narrate the drive.
The drive-through nativity starts at 6 p.m. Sunday at the church at 1498 Vandalia St. in Collinsville, Henderson said.
“They need to watch for the star at the corner of Clairmont and Vandalia ... that’ll lead to the right spot.”
HO, HO, HO, or not
▪ This train show is not to scale, at least not to the typical HO scale. The Don Take Family of Don’s G-Scale trains has a holiday display through Dec. 19 at the Edwardsville Moose Lodge, 7371 Marine Road. The nifty thing about the G is that the “G” is for garden — these are the big trains and operate on an entirely different measurement system than the HO or N scales you might have circling the tree. It’s open weekends from noon to 4 p.m.; donations to the lodge are welcome.
▪ Over at the Metro East Model Railroad Club, they honor the HO system. Their train show, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Glen Carbon Firehouse/City Hall at180 Summit St., Glen Carbon, features about a thousand feet of the tiny track on two levels. It’s free. For more information, go to www.trainweb.org/memrc.
Take a walk, luminary style
More than 30 houses will be on the Old Belleville Historical Luminary Walk from 5-9 p.m. Saturday, along Abend and Garfield streets in Belleville. Start at Mascoutah Avenue for a stroll lit by more than 1,000 luminaries that also has strolling carolers, St. Nicholas and horse drawn trolley rides.
But be ready, it’s not all old-timey. Organizer Keith Owans promises a “Victorian Christmas atmosphere with a 21st century twist” that includes digital tours that you can follow on your phone, and a geo-cache adventure of the kids. It’s all free.
Eyes on Eagles
Take it easy, the eagle invasion isn’t here quite yet. The annual show really gets going in January, but from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, the Grafton Visitor Center is going to have a presentation on bald eagles. It’ll touch on what fish they eat, and provide more about the native birds to the area. Plus, get your eagle review now so when we talk about an eagle release next week, you’re ready. For more information about the Fish-N-Eagles event, call 618-786-3323.