Concerts, ballets, and jogs pack the NWA Christmas calendar

event preview by Brittany Ransom
bransom@thecitywire.com

It won't be hard to get in the holiday spirit with all of these Christmas concerts, Jingle Bell Jogs and Nutcracker performances.

• Ozarks Chorale presents "Holiday in the Hills"
The Ozarks Chorale will present its annual "Holiday in the Hills" Concert on Dec. 14 at The Auditorium in Eureka Springs.

This year's event will feature the Chorale’s new project, the Hallelujah Chorus Community Sing, which invites singers young and old to learn Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” through The Ozarks Chorale’s dedicated Youtube channel. Participants are encouraged to stand and sing the chorus together during the "Holiday in the Hills" concert. There is no cost to participate and no practices will be held.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. All local church and school choirs, civic organizations, and families who love the classic chorus are encouraged to learn the music and attend the concert. Admission is free. For more information, call 479-336-4996.

• SoNA Christmas Concert
The Symphony of Northwest Arkansas (SoNA) will host its annual Christmas concert on Dec. 14 at the Walton Arts Center. This year's concert will feature a mix of sacred and secular Christmas tunes, all celebrating the beauty and wonder of the season, as well as the traditional Nativity story.

SoNA’s Talent Search winners Beth Gagliano, Sara Sydes, Brian Latimer and Jeff Shadley will perform, along with the SoNA Singers, the Bentonville High School Chamber Choir and Har-Ber High School Camerata Singers. The event will also include a world premiere narration by Bill Simon, president and CEO of Walmart U.S.

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. Individual tickets range from $28-$48 and can be purchased online. Student tickets are available with the presentation of a valid ID. For more information, call 479-521-4166.

• The Nutcracker
The Moscow Classical Ballet will return for the third year to the Walton Arts Center to present the Christmas classic, "The Nutcracker," Dec. 20-22.

Famous for its elite dancers and beautiful productions, the Moscow Classical Ballet has performed in more than 30 countries around the world. The troupe will dance Tchaikovsky's celebrated holiday ballet, which features beloved characters such as the Nutcracker Prince and the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Opening night will be Friday, with the show starting at 7 p.m., and Saturday will include two performances; a matinee at 2 p.m. and an evening show at 7 p.m. The show will close on Sunday with a final 2 p.m. presentation.

Tickets start at $16.50 and can be purchased online. For more information, call 479-443-5600.

• Jingle Bell Jog 5K
Have fun burning off those holiday pounds by signing-up for the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks' 2013 Jingle Bell Jog 5K. The run/walk will be held on Dec. 21 at the Garden in Fayetteville beginning at 8 a.m.

Individuals and teams of up to five members can enter the race and compete for one of several prizes. A special two-man relay will also be held, as well as a "Fun in the Garden" Run for participants under the age of 12.

The morning will also include a complimentary breakfast, door prizes and festive music. Participants are encouraged to sport Santa hats, reindeer antlers and anything that "jingles and sparkles." Prizes will be awarded for the best costume.

The cost to enter is $25 per person and $12 for the Fun Garden Run. All proceeds benefit the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, whose mission is "to provide education, entertainment and recreation for the thousands who visit the Garden each year."

Registration is available at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks and Fleet Feet Sports. For more information, contact Eleanor Townsley at (479) 530-8084 or eleanor.townsley@sbcglobal.net

• Winter Break Wonders at Crystal Bridges
Kids and parents looking for something to do over Christmas vacation can head over to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art for its "Winter Break Wonders." From Dec. 21 through Jan. 5, the museum will host a number of family friendly activities, including art-making projects, concerts and group tours.

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Drop-in studio activities will be held from noon to 3 p.m. daily. Family tours will also be hosted each day beginning at 1 p.m.

The museum will present "Pop-Up Playgrounds," with Marie Vukin of "Project Play, Every Day" on Dec. 22 and Jan. 3 beginning at noon. Special performances by the StoneLion Puppet Theater, Mr. Stinky Feet, and Storybook Strings will also be held throughout the winter break sessions.

A complete schedule of events is available online. For more information, call 479-418-5700.

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