Weekend Planner

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Happy Friday everyone! Lots of fun activities this weekend, weather permitting.

Saturday is going to be a fun day in Lake City. The city is celebrating the holidays with its annual Snow Day. Regardless of the temperatures outside, there's going to be 30 tons of snow dumped on downtown. The event will feature two snow slides along with bounce houses. You can also expect live entertainment, food vendors and an appearance by Santa. Snow Day runs from 9 am to 2 pm at Darby Pavilion. The fun continues Saturday evening starting at 6 with the Christmas parade on Marion Street. By the way, Santa will also be in town, visiting with kids, at Olustee Park Thursdays through Saturdays until Christmas.

And speaking of Christmas parades, the granddaddy of them all is this weekend. The Ocala Christmas Parade has been a tradition in the city for about 60 years. The event attracts tens of thousands each year...with many people staking out their spots along the parade route well in advance. The parade begins at 5:30 Saturday evening on Silver Springs Boulevard. Other communities with holiday parades and/or festivals include Alachua, High Springs, Hawthorne, Chiefland, Melrose, Starke, Keystone Heights, Cross City and Inverness. Steinhatchee has its boat parade Saturday, as well. The City of Belleview Christmas parade is scheduled for Sunday.

The Phillips Center in Gainesville has some shows you can check out this weekend. Saturday, Danscompany of Gainesville presents Cinderella, a ballet and holiday tradition for the last 25 years. Shows are at 1:30 and 7 pm. Speaking of tradition, Stop Children's Cancer has its annual holiday show "Holiday Traditions" Sunday at 4 pm. Later Sunday evening, the Alachua County Youth Orchestra puts on its Winter Concert. It features talented middle and high school musicians playing holiday favorites and some classics. It starts at 7:30 pm.

Meanwhile, it's an active weekend at the Reilly Arts Center in Ocala. Tonight at 7:30, the ten time Grammy winning jazz vocal group The Manhattan Transfer hits the stage. On Saturday, The Reilly presents "A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas. Showtime is 7:30 pm. Meanwhile, The Little River Band hits the stage Sunday at 8 pm.

Finally....another holiday tradition: Operation Santa Delivery. It's 10 am to 1 pm Saturday at the north field of Santa Fe College.

Enjoy your weekend!