Holiday concerts, light shows and balls on tap this weekend

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Fort Cooper State Park illuminates the night

The Nights of Lights Christmas Celebration is from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 7, 8 and 9 at Fort Cooper State Park, 3100 S. Old Floral City Road, Inverness. 

On Friday and Saturday, enjoy the park with decorations, thousands of lights and hundreds of luminaries. Stroll along the walkways, taking in the sights and sounds of Christmas. Bring the children for a visit with Santa.

Live entertainment starts at 7 p.m. Complimentary refreshments will be available while supplies last.

On Sunday, Dec. 9, enjoy the park with decorations and lights as you stroll along the walkways while Christmas music softly plays.

For admission, donate a nonperishable food item, a new toy or cash for Citrus United Basket, or a donation of pet food for Citrus County Animal Services. 

For more information, call 352-726-0315. 

Community Band playing for the holidays

The Nature Coast Community Band will have two holiday concerts: one at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at Cornerstone Baptist Church, 1100 Highland Ave. in Inverness; and another at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, at First United Methodist Church, corner of Yulee Drive and Bradshaw Street in Homosassa. 

Featured on the program will be a new arrangement of “The Night Before Christmas” poem by Clement Clarke Moore, music by Randol Alan Bass, and narrated by local musician and international radio personality Lew Alpaugh. Other program selections are from “The Nutcracker Suite,” “Mary’s Boy Child,” “O Most Holy Mystery,” “Bugler’s Holiday,” and Drema Leonard singing “The Christmas Song.” The program is narrated by Doreen Morgan. 

All NCCB concerts are free. Audiences at NCCB concerts fill the hall, so early arrival is necessary to obtain a parking space and a seat. No tickets are necessary. 

For more information, visit the website or call 352-601-7394. 



‘A Grinchmas Holiday’ on tap Friday night

The fourth annual holiday show, “A Grinchmas Holiday,” with entertainment by the New Dawn Singers, will be at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, at Citrus Springs Community Center, 1570 W. Citrus Springs Blvd. 

The New Dawn Singers is a traveling group of college-age performers who bring a high-energy song-and-dance show to all ages across the country.

Cost is $7. 

For information and tickets, call Citrus County Parks & Recreation at 352-465-7007 or 352-527-7540 or visit www.citruscountyparks.com. 



Father Christmas Ball at local Episcopal church

Shepherd of the Hills Episcopal Church will present the 2012 Father Christmas Ball at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, at the Key Training Center’s Chet Cole Life Enrichment Center.

An upgraded menu and appetizers will be catered by John Mason Catering. Violinist and cellist duo of Double Trouble will provide dinner music for the semiformal evening, and deejay Bob Author will return to spin dance music from the 1940s through the 1980s.

Tickets are $45. 

For information and tickets, call or stop by Shepherd of the Hills Episcopal Church, 2540 Norvell Bryant Highway, phone 352-527-0052, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.



Play Wildlife Jeopardy at state park

The Wildlife Jeopardy program will be from noon to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Children’s Education Center, Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park.

The question-and-answer Jeopardy-style program is for all ages and focuses on a different animal each month presented in the Children’s Education Center in the Wildlife Park. December’s subject is flamingos.

Regular park admission applies.



Sugarmill Chorale to raise voices in concert

The Sugarmill Chorale will have its Christmas concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 8831 W. Bradshaw St., Homosassa.

The chorale will perform Christmas favorites with a novelty piece or two.

Cost is $5 in advance and $8 at the door. Tickets may be purchased at the Crystal River Chamber of Commerce, 28 N.W. U.S. 19, or by calling Rose at 352-634-2688.



Local chorus to host old-fashioned concert 

The Chorus of Beverly Hills will celebrate with the Christmas concert “An Old-Fashioned Christmas” at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, in the sanctuary of the Beverly Hills Community Church, 82 Civic Circle.

Some of the titles include a medley of Irving Berlin’s songs, “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” “Home for Christmas,” “A Bell Carol” with the church’s chime choir, “Blue Christmas.”

Tickets are $5 and available from chorus members or at the church.

For more information, call 352-746-3620 or 352-746-5680.



* Inverness Christmas Parade, noon Saturday, Dec. 8, Inverness.

* Airboat Christmas Parade, 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, Hernando.

* Homosassa Boat Parade, 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, Homosassa.

* Citrus Springs Christmas Parade, 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16, Citrus Springs.

* Crystal River Boat Parade, 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, Crystal River.

— From staff reports