(First published in the November 29, 2018 issue of City Pages)
FRIDAY 11/30 | MARATHON PARK TO 400 BLOCK, WAUSAU
This annual parade is full of twinkling lights and seasonal spirit. The route starts at Marathon Park and heads downtown to The 400 Block via Stewart Avenue, First and Jefferson streets. Non-candy items are handed out along the entirety of the route, with candy arriving with Santa’s elves on the last float. Stay after for a tree lighting ceremony on the square. After the parade, find warming festivities in the Grand’s Great Hall, including hot chocolate, music and Santa visiting with the kids. Parade starts at 6:30 pm, floats start arriving in downtown around 7 pm. wausauevents.org.
SAT.-SUN. 12/1-2 | GRAND THEATER, WAUSAU
This is one of the most beautiful locally produced show in Wausau. Central Wisconsin School of Ballet has presented this annual holiday dance extravaganza for decades, always visually impressive and always to big crowds. It looks professional because it is, with professional guest dancers rounding out the student cast. This year see Cassandra Trenary and Blaine Hoven from the American Ballet Theatre. Tchaikovsky’s ballet tells the story of Clara, who goes to sleep after a Christmas Eve party with her new doll, and awakens to a war between the Rat King’s army and the Nutcracker soldiers. She then travels to different worlds, with every scene bringing a new level of wonder to the stage. The lush sets and dreamy costumes make it a must-see. Shows at 1:30 pm both days, and 7 pm Sat. Tickets $22-$40. 715-842-0988, grandtheater.org.
Before the 1:30 pm shows, ages 4-7 can join a ballet class with Clara at 12:45 pm and meet the characters after the show. Before the evening show on Saturday children can arrive early to make a craft.
SUNDAY 12/2 | MERRILL HIGH SCHOOL AUDITORIUM
Robert M. DiVito
Expect virtuosic showpieces, romantic tenor arias, pyrotechnical solos, blazing gypsy show pieces and multi-instrument mastery from this Canadian quartet. For 25 years, this dazzling ensemble has enchanted audiences and critics worldwide with their blend of artistic passion and wit. With a repertoire that spans the globe including classical masterworks, operatic arias and folk songs, the group’s theatrical stage presence and relaxed humor establishes an intimate rapport with audiences. According to the Los Angeles Times, “Dry humor and occasional clowning are part of the quartet’s arsenal, yet first it meets the requisite virtues of skilled music-making.” So expect some laughs along with excellent music. 3 pm. Part of Merrill Area Concert Association series. Requires season membership: $45 adults, $18 students, $115 family. 715-252-6295, merrillconcerts.org.
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