Holly, jolly and bright: Holiday highlights from the tri-states

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the tri-state area as myriad nonprofits, community organizations and musical groups begin to prepare for the holiday season.

From concerts to community dinners and a scuba-diving Santa, there’s a wide variety of merry and bright celebrations set to take place through the end of the year.

To help with your holiday planning, the Telegraph Herald has collected a sample of the festive fun to come.

Reflections in the Park

Time & date(s): 5-10 p.m. daily through Jan. 1.

Location: Louis Murphy Park, Dubuque.

Cost: $12 per vehicle at the gate, $10 tickets available in advance at Dubuque Bank & Trust locations.

What’s included: Reflections in the Park will include an array of lighted displays throughout the park. The event is a fundraiser for Hillcrest Family Services.

Christmas at Heritage Center “All the Souls on Earth Shall Sing!”

Time & date(s): 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1.

Location: John and Alice Butler Hall, Heritage Center,

University of Dubuque.

Cost: $14-$20. Tickets are available at heritagecenter.vbotickets.com/events.

What’s included: University of Dubuque students will perform a Christmas carols from around the world. New carols will be mixed in with traditional favorites, and snacks and refreshments will be available.

Katie’s Winter Wonderland

Time & date(s): 5-8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 1 and Dec. 2.

Location: Katie’s Garden, 275 W. Business Highway 151, Platteville, Wis.

Cost: Free.

What’s included: Platteville Regional Chamber’s Katie’s Garden will be transformed into a winter wonderland with light displays and inflatable decorations. Santa and Mrs. Clause will be in attendance to chat with kids about what they want for Christmas. Lights will be on display all month.

Scuba Santa

Time & date(s): Noon-1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 2 and Dec. 3.

Location: National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium,

350 E. Third St.

Cost: Free, with museum admission. Tickets are available by calling 563-557-9545 or visiting rivermuseum.com.

What’s included: Scuba Santa will dive into the Gulf of Mexico Aquarium, located in the Rivers to the Sea Exhibit, to pose for festive photos with aquarium visitors.

Dubuque Symphony Orchestra Holiday Concerts

Time & date(s): 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, and 2 p.m. Sunday,

Dec. 3.

Location: Five Flags Event Center, 405 Main St.

Cost: Tickets start at $19 and are available at the Five Flags Center box office or at Ticketmaster.com.

What’s included: The Dubuque Symphony Orchestra will host its annual Holiday Concerts that will feature vocalist Jeff Leibow, the Dubuque Chorale and members of the Heartland Ballet.

Night of the Luminaria & Living Windows

Time & date(s): 4-9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9.

Location: Main Street, Galena, Ill.

Cost: Free.

What’s included: Storefront windows along Galena’s Main Street will be filled with holiday inspired displays made up of live actors and performers, and more than 5,000 candlelit luminaries will line streets, steps and sidewalks.

“The Nutcracker Ballet”

Time & date(s): 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9, 15 and 16; 2 p.m. Dec. 10, 16 and 17.

Location: The Grand Opera House,

135 W. Eighth St.

Cost: $25 for adults and $17 for youth. Tickets are available at the box office and at thegrandoperahouse.com.

What’s included: The Dubuque City Youth Ballet’s annual production of “The Nutcracker Ballet” tells the story of Clara, who receives a nutcracker soldier as a Christmas present.

Tuba Christmas!

Time & date(s): 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10.

Location: Turner Hall, 115 S Bench St., Galena, Ill.

Cost: Free, donations accepted.

What’s included: Tri-state tuba and euphonium players of all ages and skill levels will gather to play a free holiday concert led by Daniel Rowland, acting principal tuba of the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra.

Family Christmas Party

Time & date(s): 5:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 15.

Location: Dubuque Multicultural Family Center, 1157 Central Ave.

Cost: Free, with registration required by Dec. 8 at mfcdbq.org.

What’s included: The MFC and Latino Empowerment and Development invites families to celebrate with the local Latinx community. There will be food, activities and Latinx cultural celebrations.

Snowflakes & Sweets Stroll

Time & date(s): Noon-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16.

Location: Main Street, Galena, Ill.

Cost: $30 in advance and $35 the day of the event. Tickets are available at bit.ly/40zVyMp.

What’s included: Ticket holders receive a punch card for 10 treats — cookies, candies, drinks and more — available in the shops along Galena’s Main Street.

Holiday Mine Sing

Time & date(s): 4-6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16.

Location: Mining & Rollo Jamison Museums, 405 E. Main St., Platteville, Wis.

Cost: $18 general admission, $15 for those 65 and older, $9 for ages 5-12 and $4.50 for children younger than 5. Tickets are available at mining.jamison.museum/programs.

What’s included: The Madison Maennerchor will perform carols around a 14-foot holiday tree. The singers then will perform Cornish classics in the lead mine.

Wild Church: Winter SolsticeTime & date(s): 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 21.

Location: Sinsinawa (Wis.) Mound,

585 County Road Z.

Cost: Free, with donations accepted.

What’s included: A celebration of the Winter Solstice.

Grace Nieland writes for the Telegraph Herald.

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