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Weekend Outlook December 7-9, 2012

Today is last day to send cards to troops through the Red Cross
Photo credit: Michele Skalicky
  • A Toys for Tots Concert, “A Good Old Country Christmas,” sponsored by the U.S. Marine Corps League, will be held tonight (12/7) and tomorrow night (12/8) at 7 at the West Plains Civic Center Theatre.  Admission is one unwrapped toy.
  • The 3rdAnnual DickensFest will be held today through Sunday (12/7-12/9) on Moffet Avenue in Joplin.  The event will feature winter lights, an outdoor Olde English village, costumed Dickens characters, food, crafts, music, horse-drawn carriage rides, a live Nativity and more.  For more information, JoplinDickensFest.com or 483-3116.
  • The Community Christmas Tree in West Plains will be lit tonight (12/7) at 6 at Court Square. 
  • A Holiday Train/Garden Display is at the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center through December 31st.  Hours today and tomorrow (12/7-12/8) are 8 to 8 and Sunday (12/9) from 11 to 6.  Admission is free, but donations are accepted.
  • Today (12/7) is the last day to send holiday greetings to members of the U.S. Armed Forces through the Red Cross’ Holiday Cards for Heroes program.  For more information, 832-9500 or redcross.org.
  • The Yellow House Holiday Arts and Crafts Sale is tonight (12/7) from 5 to 9 and tomorrow (12/8) from 10 to 5 in West Plains.
  • The program “Healthy Holiday Foods and Special Diets” is this morning (12/7) at 10 at the Fair Grove Branch Library.  There will be a special emphasis on gluten-free and diabetic issues.  Take a favorite recipe for a recipe exchange.  For details, 759-2637.
  • The Friends of the West Plains Library will host a Book & Bake Sale tomorrow (12/8) from 9 to 4 in the library’s Community Room.  All proceeds benefit the library.
  • The West Plains Christmas Parade starts tomorrow night (12/8) at 5 from the corner of Missouri Ave. and Porter Waggoner and will proceed past People’s Park and onto West Main. 
  • Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield presents the 9thAnnual Memorial Illumination Ceremony tomorrow (12/8) featuring more than 2500 luminaries.  Each one represents someone killed, wounded or missing during the Battle of Wilson’s Creek.  An opening ceremony will start at 4:30 at the Visitor’s Center, and the tour opens to the public at 5:15 and goes until 9.  For more information, 732-2662.
  • George Washington Carver National Monument in Diamond, MO will host a Holiday Open House tomorrow (12/8) from 1 to 3.  There will be music, refreshments and 19thcentury crafts.  Park Rangers will present a special program at 1:45 called “Carver’s Christmas Letters.”  A special showing of the PBS feature “Nature:  Christmas in Yellowstone” will run at noon and 3.  To learn more, 325-4151.
  • Springfield Regional Arts Council invites you to a Free Art Day tomorrow morning (12/8) from 10 to noon at the Creamery Arts Center.  Kids can make wrapping paper, snowflakes and glass ball ornaments.  Storytelling will be provided by the Springfield Greene County Library.
  • The 5thAnnual Charity Troop Hunt is tomorrow (12/8) from 1 to 8.  This holiday scavenger hunt benefits troops and their families.  More information is on Facebook at facebook.com/charitytroophunt.
  • The Springfield Christmas Parade starts tomorrow afternoon (12/8) at 2.  To view a parade map, itsalldowntown.com.
  • A free drive-through light display is at Rutledge-Wilson Community Farm Park Saturdays through Dec. 22 from dusk to 7 pm.
  • Free ice skating will be offered at Mediacom Ice Park tomorrow (12/8) from 3 to 4.  Skate rental is $2.50.
  • Watch the Lord of the Rings film, “The Two Towers,” tomorrow afternoon (12/8) at 1 at the Library Center and Library Station.
  • The 2012 Viking Endowment Fund Craft Show will be held in the Parkview High School Gym tomorrow (12/8) from 8 to 4.  If you’d like more information, Gabriel at 523-9200.
  • The Sunday Concert Series at the Library Center will feature Red Bridge Bluegrass performing “Holiday Music Bluegrass Style” Sunday afternoon (12/9) at 2.  Admission is free.