Winter events planned in Yakima

YAKIMA - The calendar is full of family fun holiday festivities this December in downtown Yakima.

Tonight (Friday) Yakima’s community Christmas tree will serve as the centerpiece during a free Light Up the Plaza celebration. The event will start at 5:30 p.m. at the Millennium Plaza and will feature performances by Blake Noble, Planes on Paper and Cody Beebe and the Crooks.

At 7:30 p.m., Clyde the blue spruce will spring to life as the 2013 Yakima Community Christmas Tree during a special lighting ceremony.

Also tonight, everybody can have a free picture taken with Santa inside Ron’s Coin and Collectibles at 6 N. 3rd St. from 6 to 9 p.m.

Free tours of downtown Yakima aboard horse-drawn carriages will be offered on Saturday, Dec. 7, from noon to 4 p.m., Friday, Dec. 13, from 6 to 9 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 14, from noon to 4 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 21, from noon to 4 p.m. The free carriage rides start and end at Millennium Plaza and last approximately 20 minutes.

The activities on Sunday, Dec. 8, will begin with the Yakima Symphony Orchestra’s Christmas Pops Spectacular at the Capitol Theatre at 4 p.m. and conclude with the 14th annual Yakima Holiday Light Parade, which will follow a route from Sixth Avenue to the Millennium Plaza. An awards ceremony will take place after the parade near the 2013 Community Christmas Tree in Millennium Plaza.

On Tuesday, Dec. 10, the Orion Cinema will show the 1946 holiday classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” on two screens. Show times are 6 and 6:30 p.m. Tickets will cost $5.

One of the world’s most celebrated Elvis Presley impersonators, Danny Vernon, will present a tribute to Elvis’ Blue Christmas on Thursday, Dec. 12, in the Seasons Performance Hall at 7 p.m.

On Saturday, Dec. 14, the Capitol Theatre will host “The Nutcracker” for a 2 p.m. matinee and a 7:30 p.m. evening performance.

The Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas Show will take to the Seasons Performance Hall stage on Wednesday, Dec. 18, at 7:30 p.m. The four-time Grammy-winning Gospel legends will belt out their rousing renditions of Christmas carols, hymns and pop standards.

A complete list of downtown Yakima holiday festivities can be found on the city’s website at http://www.yakimawa.gov/media/points-of-interest/downtown-yakima-holiday-festivities/.

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