The Christmas season has begun and with it comes a bounty of holiday events to keep your spirits high.
Kicking off the holidays is the Three Rivers Convention Center Festival of Trees, starting at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 27 with a tree-lighting ceremony at the Kennewick convention center.
Admission is free.
Then on Nov. 28 there will be a free craft workshop, performances by Big Top the Clown and kids can also have their photo taken with Santa.
On Nov. 29, visitors can skate with the Tri-City American hockey players from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Toyota arena. Cost is $8 and includes skate rental. Proceeds from this event benefit the Americans scholarship fund.
Here are some other highlights of the holiday season:
-- The Mid-Columbia Symphony will entertain with a concert of festive music for the holidays Nov. 29. Admission is $20 adults, $10 students and seniors. Concert starts at 3 p.m. at the Three Rivers Convention Center. Admission is $20 adults, $10 students and seniors. Tickets at the door.
-- The public can help prepare care packages for troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan on Nov. 30. Donations can be made through the day.
-- Tree viewing is from 4:30 to 8 p.m. Nov. 27-Dec. 3, then the trees will be auctioned off at a gala Dec. 3. Admission is $40 and includes wine tasting and appetizers. Proceeds will benefit the Young Life program.
-- Washington State University Tri-Cities plans a holiday Open Mic Poetry Reading Night starting at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3 in the East building Auditorium on the Richland campus, 2710 University Drive, off George Washington Way. Admission is free.
-- The annual Christmas Lighted Boat Parade is Dec. 11-12 along the Columbia River from Clover Island in Kennewick to Richland's Howard Amon Park. The public watches for free along the route. About 20 boats decorated with vibrant colored lights and animated displays participate in the parade, which starts at dusk. Any boaters interested in joining the parade can attend a skipper's meeting at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Clover Island Yacht Club on Clover Island. For more information, call Mark Showalter at 737-1166.
-- The Lighted Farm Implement Parade in Sunnyside starts at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 5 at Warehouse Avenue and continues to Sixth Street, then to Edison Avenue where it turns east and ends at Mid-Valley Mall parking lot. About 60 various farm equipment vehicles will be lit up with thousands of holiday lights.
-- The Nutcracker Suite' ballet, presented by the Mid-Columbia Ballet, is at 7 p.m. Dec. 11-12 and at 2 p.m. Dec. 13 in the auditorium at Richland High School. Tickets are $22 for adults, $17 students and seniors and $12 for kids 12 and younger. Tickets at the Dance Boutique on Aaron Drive in Richland or at www.midcolumbiaballet.org or call 946-5417.
-- Dayton kicks off its holiday celebrations with its traditional Christmas market at the Historic Dayton Depot on Nov. 27-28 along with a Homespun Holiday Celebration at various location along Main Street. Festivities at the depot include holiday gift ideas and exhibits by local artists. The depot is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 27 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 28. It's at 222 E. Commercial St. Admission is $5 at the door. Downtown Dayton fun includes food and craft booths, live music at the Weinhard Hotel and open houses at several businesses, all along Main Street, barrel tasting at local microbreweries and a fireworks display at dusk.
-- There will be performances of 'Once Upon A Mattress' at the Liberty Theater on Nov. 28. Tickets are $10-$20 and available at the box office. Showtime is 7 p.m. with a 3 p.m. matinee Nov. 28. On Dec. 1 the Liberty Theater in Dayton will show the film Where The Wild Things Are at 7 p.m.
-- The Kennewick High School Mad Hatters jazz choir, directed by Tim Henderson, and jazz band perform a holiday celebration concert at 7 p.m. Dec. 11 and at 1 p.m. Dec. 12 in the Art Fuller Auditorium at Kennewick High. Admission is $5 at the door.
-- The monthly ArtWalk is from 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 3 at various businesses in downtown Kennewick. Just follow the red balloons throughout the four-block area to the galleries and stores featuring local artisans.
-- If you have a holiday event coming up that is open to the public and would like to have it included in the entertainment tab, then e-mail the name of the event, time, date, cost and details to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to the attention of Dori O'Neal at 509-582-1510.
Deadline to submit information for the Friday tab is the week before.