The end of the year is swiftly approaching upon us all. Personally, it can’t come soon enough, but this column ain’t about that. As we all know, this is the holiday season, which takes a great tax upon us all as people. It is fun to spend time with those that we love, but the holidays can also put a hit in our wallets. If you still have to buy gifts, you’re feeling that hit as the time gets closer and the prices get higher. As a special treat to those who still have gifts to buy, all of the events noted in this week’s column will be free. Keep a couple of bills in your pocket for now and let Iowa City treat you to some entertainment.
Festival of Carols | Englert Theatre | 7 PM | Free, All Ages
Returning for another year, the Festival of Carols provides families a way to get into the Christmas spirit, providing sing-a-longs and an opportunity to meet Santa for the kids. Performers include the Old Capitol Chorus and the cast of the upcoming My Fair Lady production, which will be coming to the Englert in January of 2011, amongst others. This will be a lovely way to get into the Christmas spirit, if you haven’t already been swept up in it.
Jazz After Five | The Mill | 5:00 PM | Free, All Ages
As should be clear by anyone who has been around Iowa City this fall or any summer, this is a city that loves its jazz music. Jazz After Five offers an opportunity for this community to see new music and hear new compositions from musicians here in this fertile jazz scene. More importantly, this event is open to the entire musical community of Iowa City from high school kids just getting into jazz to the seasoned hepcats and everyone in between, allowing them to come together and discuss the thing that they all share. As well, listening to live jazz in the afternoon is always a great thing to do, and it makes such a beautiful transition into the weekend, bringing down the stress and getting you into the right space for relaxation.
Santafest | White Lightning Wherehouse (700 S. Dubuque) | 6:00 PM | Free, All Ages
In the holiday spirit, the Wherehouse is getting everyone in Iowa City together for some fun. Starting with a potluck and studio open house at 5, the many bands will start playing at 6. To be more specific, there will be at least 18 bands/artists playing this Saturday. They are all local favorites such as Skye Carrasco, Brooke Strause, These Needles, Sam Locke-Ward w/ Ross Meyer, Star City, and SS Piss. This show’s going to start early, end late, and be fun the entire time. It’ll be a nice way to celebrate the holidays with the numerous talents in the Iowa City music community at one of its newest homes.
The holidays are a fun time that brings out a lot of traditions in different families. Does your family have a unique tradition that they want to share with the weekender? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and there’s a good chance that it will show up in next week’s Christmas edition. Until then, stay dry, stay rested, and make your dollars count.