Holiday events

By Dori O'Neal, Herald staff writerNovember 30, 2012 

Here's a list of lively concerts, eye-catching tree-lighting ceremonies, parades and festivals happening around the Northwest this holiday season.

-- Forte, the Tri-Cities' newest youth show choir, performs a mix of old favorites for the holidays, as well as some popular contemporary music, in the auditorium at Chiawana High School in Pasco. Showtime is 7 p.m. Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 with a 2 p.m. matinee Dec. 1. Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors.

-- A benefit concert starts at 7 p.m. Nov. 30 in the auditorium at Southridge High School featuring a wide range of noted Tri-City vocalists, as well as the Mid-Columbia Brass Quintet, Horse Heaven Hills Middle School Orchestra and the Melodic Mustangs. Admission is $10.

Proceeds from the event will be used to buy instruments for student musicians at Horse Heaven Hills Middle School.

Featured performers include Katrina Carlson, Bryan Foley, Michelle Cameron, Mary K. French, John Tuttle, Kelsey Wehner, Emily Carlson, Karen Zizzi, Megan Johnson and Allen Madsen.

-- The Festival of Lights continues through Dec. 23 at the Umatilla County Fairgrounds in Hermiston. The light show starts each night at dusk. Admission is free.

-- The So Gifted Holiday Party, featuring the hip-hop music of Chris Davis, Ill Manner'd, Ether Bone, Money Over Misery and Taz, starts at 8:30 p.m. Dec. 1 at the M Hotel, 1515 George Washington Way in Richland. The event is open to the 21 and older crowd only. Admission is free, but a toy gift for a child will be accepted and donated to the Toys for Tots fundraising drive.

-- The Hermiston Festival of Trees fundraiser is Dec 1-2 at the Hermiston Community Conference Center, 415 S. Highway 395. Admission is $30. For more information, call 541-571-7128. The festival opens at 6 p.m. Dec. 1 and is from noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 2.

-- The Oregon Zoo will be decked out in holiday magic during the annual ZooLights festival, which continues through Dec. 31 at the Portland-area zoo. Hours are from 5 to 8 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The zoo is closed Dec. 24-25. ZooLights tickets, which include admission and a train ride, cost $12.50 for ages 12-64, $11 for 65 and older, $9.50 for ages 3 to 11 and free for kids 2 and younger. Without the train ride, admission is $10, $8.50 and $7.

-- Toy Train Christmas is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 1-2, 8-9, 15-16 in the Northern Pacific Railway Museum, 10 Asotin Ave., Toppenish. Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for kids 12 and under. Call 509-865-1911.

-- The Sunnyside Farm Implement Parade starts at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 1 in downtown. For more information, go to

-- The Leavenworth Christmas Lighting Festival is Dec. 1-2, 8-9, 15-16 in the Bavarian village west of Wenatchee. The tree-lighting ceremony starts each night at dusk. Other events include visits from St. Nicholas, chestnut roasting and live music.

-- A hometown Christmas celebration starts at noon Dec. 2 at the Waitsburg Town Hall on Main Street. Admission is free. There will be a holiday bazaar, a visit from Santa, music and door prizes.

-- The Umatilla Chamber holiday open house is from 2 to 6 p.m. Dec. 6 at the chamber building, 100 Cline Ave. Admission is free.

-- The Lutheran Advent/Christmas Concert is at 7 p.m. Dec 7 at Richland Lutheran Church LCMC, 901 Van Giesen St. Admission is free. Call 943-8538. Each choir will sing an anthem of the season, the congregation will sing carols and scriptures will be read.

-- The Tri-Cities Steel Band Association's annual Christmas concert is at 6 p.m. Dec. 7 in the Bethel Church auditorium, 600 Shockley Road, Richland. Admission is free, but donations of canned food are welcome. Bram Brata and OK2Botay steel drum bands will perform as well as the Bahuru and Baduku marimba bands.

-- The Tri-Cities Lighted Boat parade starts at 6 p.m. Dec. 7-8 on the Columbia River from Clover Island to Howard Amon Park.

-- A Handbell Concert is at 7 p.m. Dec 8 at Central United Protestant Church, 1124 Stevens Drive, Richland. Admission is free, but donations are welcome. Bells of the Desert, a community handbell choir under the direction of Cathy Rohrig, will be featured. Call 628-0306.

-- WinterFest starts at 8 a.m. Dec. 8 at City Park in Benton City. Daylong festivities include a visit from Santa, a pancake breakfast, music, a holiday bazaar and a gingerbread-decorating contest. Kids activities with cocoa and cookies follow the lighted holiday parade, which starts at 5 p.m. at Ki-Be Middle School and ends at City Park. Admission to all events is free.

-- The Pasco Luminaria starts at 6 p.m. Dec. 15 in the Desert Plateau neighborhood between Burden Boulevard and Argent Road in West Pasco. Featured are hundreds of homes spruced up with festive lights, caroling and a visit from Santa.

-- Franklin County Museum's annual Holiday Open House is from 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 15 at the Pasco museum, 305 N. Fourth Ave. Admission is free.

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514;

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