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ENTERTAINMENT NOTES: Northern Lights to illuminate Argenta Plaza

by Eric E. Harrison | November 18, 2021 at 1:32 a.m.
Chris Kennedy plays Santa Claus for this year's Northern Lights holiday celebration Saturday Nov. 20 at North Little Rock's Argenta Plaza. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)

Entertainment options in Arkansas this weekend:

FUN: Northern Lights

The North Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau and the city of North Little Rock are bringing back the Northern Lights holiday celebration, 3-8:30 p.m. Saturday at Argenta Plaza at 510 Main St., North Little Rock.

The festivities will also feature food trucks, a holiday market for holiday shoppers and entertainment by Lagniappe, the musical duo Caleb and Abi and carolers from Argenta Community Theater's "A Christmas Carol." From 3-7 p.m., "Santa's Workshop" will offer free kids' holiday activities; families can take photos with Santa (Chris Kennedy, owner of Black Santa ARK LLC, plays Santa this year) and the 38-foot Christmas tree.

Covid-19 protocols include spreading the festivities out over more than five hours and encouraging everyone to socially distance when possible and wear masks, "but it will not be required." Visit or the Facebook event page,

Peanuts exhibition

"Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!," a traveling exhibition from the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa, Calif., is on display through Dec. 22 at the Windgate Gallery, Center for Humanities and Arts, University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College, 3000 W. Scenic Drive, North Little Rock.

The exhibition consists of 50 daily and Sunday Peanuts comic strips, more than 50 vintage Peanuts-theme seasonal novelties, a Santa letter-writing station, a photo opportunity, downloadable activities and a video featuring Peanuts creator Charles Schulz, producer Lee Mendelson and animator/director Bill Melendez on the making of the "Charlie Brown Christmas" TV special. Admission is free; tour the exhibition virtually at Call (501) 812-2831.

THEATER: Trans-Siberian tribute

St. Louis-based The Prophecy Show, touring as a tribute to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, performs at 7 p.m. Friday at Robinson Center Performance Hall, 426 W. Markham St., Little Rock. Tickets are $55-$85 (plus fees) at the Robinson Center box office and Call (501) 244-8800.

  photo  Matt Soto (center, in sequin jacket, in the 2019 cast) will be the emcee for the 2021 “Razzle Dazzle” variety show at the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas in Pine Bluff. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)
'Razzle Dazzle'

"Razzle Dazzle," the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas' biennial variety show benefiting its youth theater program, is onstage 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Catherine M. Bellamy Theater at the center, 701 S. Main St., Pine Bluff. This year's theme is "The Show Must Go On" and features songs from Broadway and the movies. Sponsor is Relyance Bank.

Attendees must wear masks and seats will be socially distanced. Tickets are $25, $50 with admission to a 6 p.m. Friday-Saturday pre-show cocktail hour in the neighboring ARTSpace on Main and ART WORKS on Main. Call (870) 536-3375 or visit

MUSIC: ASU winds

The Arkansas State University Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Winds will perform at 7:30 p.m. today in Riceland Hall at the university's Fowler Center, 201 Olympic Drive, Jonesboro.

Sarah Labovitz will conduct the Symphonic Winds in the "Suite No. 2 for Military Band" in F major by Gustav Holst, "Letter from Sado" by Jodie Blackshaw and "Reckoning" by Michael Markowski. Graduate conductor Alyssa Perry will conduct "The Pride of the Wolverines" by John Philip Sousa.

The Wind Ensemble will play "Ecstatic Fanfare" by Steven Bryant; "and the mountains rising nowhere" by Joseph Schwantner; and "March," op.99, by Sergei Prokofiev, arranged by Paul Yoder. Timothy Oliver conducts. Graduate conductor Tyler Worsham will be on the podium for "Primavera."

Admission is free. Call (870) 972-2094.

ETC.: Walk the runway

Buy a ticket and get a chance to walk the runway, "wearing the hottest pieces [you've] longed to bring out of the closet," according to a news release, in the "Runwayz Fashion Party," 7 p.m. Saturday in the Grand Ballroom of the Robinson Center Performance Hall, 426 W. Markham St. at Broadway, Little Rock. Prizes will go to the best in each category, which carry playful names, like "Revenge of the Nerd," "Gold Rush," and "Party People." For a pre-show Fashion Donation Drive, 4-8 p.m., attendees can donate coats, jackets and fashions of all sizes in good or excellent condition. Tickets are $24, $49 VIP. Visit

  photo  El Dorado's Murphy Arts District glazes over its amphitheater stage for MAD on Ice, Saturday through Jan. 2. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette/Joanna Benson)
Merry El Dorado

Main Street El Dorado, working with other groups to make "El Dorado ... Merry & Bright!," kicks the season off with its annual Holiday Lighting Ceremony, 5:30 p.m. today on the east side of the Union County Courthouse, 101 N. Washington Ave. NBA hall of famer Karl Malone will serve as the honorary switch-thrower. Free train rides will be available from 5-8 p.m., loading and unloading at PJ's Coffee, 106 W. Main St. The event also launches the Salvation Army's annual Red Kettle Campaign.

Downtown merchants open their stores, restaurants and venues to the public, 1-4 p.m. Sunday, for a Christmas Open House; hours for individual businesses may vary. Santa and his sleigh will be available for photographs on Washington Street. Cinderella horse-and-carriage rides will also be available, 1-5 p.m., loading and unloading in front of Pupp's BBQ, 101 W. Main St., $7. There will also be free holiday train rides, 1-4 p.m., and a 2 p.m. Baggo tournament on Washington Street, sponsored by Epps Land Services, with more than $250 in cash and prizes.

The Murphy Arts District will glaze over its amphitheater stage for MAD on Ice, Saturday-Jan. 2. Hours are 1-9 p.m. weekdays, Monday-Nov. 26, Dec. 20-23 and 27-31; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday; 1-7 p.m. Sunday. Capacity will be 65 skaters at a time. Wearing masks will be optional; the staff will regularly clean all contact surfaces and provide hand sanitizer stations. Tickets are $13 per day for unlimited skating. Skate rentals, $3, are available in children's size 8 to men's size 16. (Skating and rental are free for MAD members, 1-3 p.m.). Concessions, including hot chocolate, will be available from MuleKick@MAD. "Hire" skating aids or "helpers" — Bobby the Seal and Tommy the Reindeer — $5 for a 90-minute cycle. Helmets will be available for free on a first come, first served basis. Each person skating or watching from the stage must sign a skating waiver form. Season passes, good for unlimited skating time plus skate rental, are $80, $140 for two. Visit

The Christmas train returns the week of Dec. 17-23, 6-9 p.m. (closed on Sunday). Cost is $8, $5 per child 12 and younger. Santa will be at PJ's Coffee, 2-4 p.m. Dec. 12 and 19, 1-3 p.m. Dec. 18. Call (870) 862-4747 or visit or the Facebook page,

Craft sale

Jacksonville Community Center, 5 Municipal Drive, Jacksonville, hosts the 44th annual Holiday Craft & Gift Sale, 2-8 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, featuring original works of art and gifts from Arkansas artists and vendors from surrounding areas. Handmade creations include woodwork, paintings, jewelry and holiday decor. Concessions will be available. Admission is $2, $1 for children 12-18. Call (501) 982-4171 or visit

Photo slide show

The Conway Symphony Orchestra is sponsoring a photo contest in which Conway residents can spotlight "things you love about living in and around Conway," for a slide show to accompany its performance of Dmitri Tiomkin's suite from the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" in a Dec. 4 concert at the University of Central Arkansas' Reynolds Performance Hall. There's a special entry category for student photographers age 10-17. Deadline to enter is midnight Wednesday. Judges will be photographers Tim Donar and Mike Kemp. Enter and upload your photos at Visit or for information on prizes and how to enter. Call (501) 269-1066.


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