Events to gobble up

The turkey is devoured, the Christmas lights are up, and you're looking at a long holiday weekend with kids and visiting relatives to entertain.

Have no fear, if you live in southeastern Minnesota. This weekend's lineup of events includes comedy, live music, plays, dancing, several blockbuster movies and Christmas-related activities. In fact, it would be impossible for anybody to get to even half of what's being offered this Thanksgiving weekend.

So, to help sort out what's what, here's a checklist of just some of what's going on Friday through Sunday:

Family events

The Hiawatha Homes Festival of Trees started Wednesday and continues through Sunday at Mayo Civic Center. This annual Thanksgiving weekend treat features 100 decorated Christmas trees in a park-like setting, not to mention holiday snacks, a gift shop and live music. Tickets available at the door.


Austin's Christmas in the City celebration is at 7 p.m. Friday at the Paramount Theatre , with a preview of the "Forever Christmas" musical comedy show and the Jane Taylor Dance Academy's presentation of "The Nutcracker." Admission is free. The full "Forever Christmas" will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets at 507-434-0934.

In Red Wing, the annual Holiday Stroll takes place Friday afternoon and evening, with wagon rides, a lighted parade, tree-lighting ceremony, fireworks and a visit from Santa and his reindeer.


Josh Blue, winner of NBC's Last Comic Standing, performs at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Rochester Eagles Club. Tickets at 507-289-9532.

Goonies Comedy Cub in downtown Rochester will host Mark Poolos and Brian Hicks Friday and Saturday, with two shows each night. Tickets at 507-288-8130.

George Lopez takes the stage at 8 p.m. Saturday at Treasure Island Resort & Casino near Red Wing. Tickets at 1-877-849-1640.


The Booker Mini Foundation fundraiser will be held from 5:30 p.m. to midnight Friday at Mayo Civic Center , with music by Annie Mack, Incognito, Brad Boyce and Booker Mini, and a silent auction.


The Sena Ehrhardt Band headlines the Thanks-giving Blues Banquet, along with the Mooseknuckle Brothers and Reverend Raven and the Chain-Smokin' Altar Boys at 6 p.m. Friday at the Wicked Moose in Rochester. Tickets at 507-208-4088.

Irish pipes legend Paddy Keenan is at the Oak Center General Store at 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets at 507-753-2080.

The Sheldon Theatre Brass Band performs holiday concerts at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday at the Sheldon Theatre in Red Wing. Tickets at 800-899-5759.


The Commonweal Theatre 's production of "A Christmas Carol" opens Friday night and will be presented Saturday and Sunday afternoon and Saturday evening. Tickets at 800-657-7025.

"Amy's View" is the current production of the Rochester Repertory Theatre , with performances at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Call 507-289-1737 for tickets.

Words Players are reprising the silent stage production "The Sky is Falling" with performances at Friday and Saturday night and Saturday and Sunday afternoon at Words Players Theatre. Tickets at 507-216-6431.

"Uh Oh, Here Comes Christmas" to the Mantorville Opera House, where the Mantorville Theatre Company holiday production opens Friday and continues through the weekend. For tickets, call 507-635-5420.



Need to wear off some pumpkin pie calories? The Chatfield Center for the Arts , 405 S. Main St., is hosting dances this weekend with music by Ryan Herman, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and the Memory Brothers from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.

The Blue Moon Ballroom in Rochester hosts a Blue Moon Mix dance at 7:30 p.m. Friday and MoTown Nite, with live music, at 8 p.m. Saturday; 507-288-0556.


The Rochester Art Center has four exhibitions underway, including photographs by the McKnight Photography Fellows, the first time this show has been held outside the Twin Cities. Call 507-282-8629.

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