Candlelit home tours, holiday theater productions, old-fashioned parade and plenty of shopping – Danville decks its halls for a season of memorable Christmas events and activities.
‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ in Perryville
Usher in the holidays with a free viewing of Frank Capra’s 1946 holiday film classic, “It’s A Wonderful Life,” showing at Perryville’s historic Magnolia Manor, 6-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25. A perfect setting for the movie, the circa 1853 home had previously been known as the Kern House for the family that lived there for decades, until 1924 – just four years before the night of the high school dance scene when the gym floor retracts and George Bailey and Mary Hatch foxtrot into the indoor swimming pool.
“Bring a chair or blanket and enjoy this classic movie next to the firepits and heating towers,” said Aly Huff, executive director at Main Street Perryville. “It will be a fun family evening.”
Holiday Homes Aglow
On Saturday, Nov. 26, tour some of downtown Perryville’s most historic homes, including Magnolia Manor, the Bottom-Guthrie House and the Presbyterian Church. Seven homes are featured on the tour, which takes place 2-3 p.m. Each home will be beautifully decorated for the holidays and refreshments will be served at some of the locations on the tour.
Prior to the Historic Holiday Home Tour, Perryville will hold a Wreath Laying Ceremony at Hillcrest Cemetery at 1 p.m. Later that day, Perryville hosts its Christmas Parade at 6:30 p.m., followed by cookies with Santa Claus at Magnolia Manor.
“We are encouraging everyone to come and spend the day, enjoying the town, free family photo opportunities, ‘shopping small’ and more,” said Huff.
Purchase Holiday Home Tour tickets ($25 per person) here.
Shop Small Saturday
November 26 is also Small Business Saturday, an event launched by American Express in 2010 to encourage people across the country to support small businesses, which put so much back into their local communities.
It’s a chance to avoid mall crowds and mass merchandise for a welcoming small-town atmosphere and unique and original gifts, like the family-recipe caramel treats from Cerci on Main; the single estate and blended teas and specialty tea products at Elmwood Inn Fine Teas (where you can also sip at the tasting bar); and a “You Had Me at Bourbon” Leather-Wrapped Hip Flask from Camp – all located in downtown Danville.
Downtown Perryville has its own unique blend of shops, including the Blended Tribe, Lily Rose Antiques and the Barrel Boutique, among others. Expect to find shops decorated for the holidays and seasonal specials in both downtowns.
Potted Potter at the Norton Center for the Arts
Harry Potter goes with Christmas like Honeydukes Sweetshop goes with Hogsmeade. The Norton Center for the Arts brings “Potted Potter – the Unauthorized Harry Experience” to Danville for just one showing: 7:30-9:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1. A Parody by Dan and Jeff, it condenses all seven Harry Potter books – that’s 3,407 pages in total! – into a hilarious 70-minute production.
“Potted Potter” was created by two-time Olivier Award-nominated actors Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner who note that the show “is perfect for ages six to Dumbledore (who is very old indeed).”
Buy tickets at the Norton Center or 1-800-HIT-SHOW.
‘Mr. Scrooge, the Founder of the Feast!’
Tis the season to belt out a few bah humbugs – at least, that’s what everyone’s favorite miser will be doing when the West T. Hill Community Theatre and the Boyle County Performing Art Center present “Scrooge! The Musical.”
With book, music and lyrics by Oscar-winning composer and lyricist Leslie Bricusse, the show takes the stage for five nights: December 2, 3, 4, 9 and 10. Tickets are available here.
Country ham, carved roasted turkey, giblet gravy dressing, cranberry salad, green beans almondine, baked oyster casserole, homemade sourdough bread, homemade jam cake . . . the menu for Forkland’s Old-Fashioned Christmas Dinner goes on and on. Held at the Forkland Community Center, it takes place on Saturday, Dec. 3.
“It’s a nice warm country evening, all decorated and very Christmassy,” said Dianna Barker, a volunteer who manages ticket sales. “We have 200 tickets, and they are flying!”
The evening begins at 6 p.m. and the traditional homecooked Christmas dinner is served at 7 p.m. Enjoy holiday punch, entertainment provided by local musicians and beautiful Christmas decorations. Pop into the Forkland Lincoln Museum to see Lincoln photographs and artifacts and buy gifts and delicious treats at the Forkland Gift Shop and a special Christmas Gift Shop.
For tickets ($30/person), call Dianna Barker at 859-583-2582.
Crystal Gayle Brings On the Holiday Sparkle
Country legend and multiple award-winning singer Crystal Gayle comes to the Norton Center for the Arts on Friday, Dec. 9, for an evening of country hits and Christmas classics from her album, “A Crystal Christmas.” This album, originally released in 1986, was reissued digitally in 2021 and features holiday favorites “White Christmas,” “Silent Night,” “Winter Wonderland,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Jingle Bells” and more.
With 22 No. 1 country hits, four top twenty pop hits, six albums certified Gold by the RIAA and three certified Platinum – including “We Must Believe in Magic,” the first album by a female artist in country music history to reach platinum sales – under her belt, you can be sure the CMA’s “Female Vocalist of the Year” for two consecutive years will be singing some of your favorite country songs as well. Buy tickets here.
Old Fashioned Christmas Celebration
When you join the crowd downtown on Saturday, Dec. 10 for Danville’s Old Fashioned Christmas Parade, you’ll know the holidays are in full swing. Food trucks, vendors, hot cocoa and treats, holiday activities and a visit by a certain Jolly Old Elf and his Misses create an evening of music, magic and twinkling lights in historic downtown Danville.
The parade begins at 6 p.m. on the corner of Main Street and College Street and proceeds down Main Street. Surprise character sightings throughout downtown start at 1 p.m. The Cookies & Cocoa Reception takes place at 4 p.m. at City Hall.