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Greensboro’s First Friday art hop will showcase holiday’s best

by Jim Dowell

Greensboro’s First Friday art hop will showcase holiday’s best Broach Theatre•Green Hill Center•Artmongerz•Mellow Mushroom?

Well folks, the year is finally almost over. Seems like 2008 just got going full-steam ahead, and then with a blink of the eye it is holiday season already. Hope you and yours had a fantastic Thansgiving and were able to spend it with those you love. I spent mine at the top of the Blue Ridge Parkway with family young and old, and ate everything I could possibly have wanted. We had all the usuals, plus some interesting desserts designed to celebrate my birthday and the spirit of Thanksgiving. We should all be thankful for all that we are still able to share with others, and remember those less fortunate than us. Judging from the crowds at all the big-box stores and malls on Friday, I would venture to say that things could be much, much worse here. December rolls right into the holiday season with a busy weekend ahead. First Friday combines with the 20 th annual Festival of Lights for a huge night out on Friday. The actual festival continues throughout the weekend with our Holiday

Parade on Saturday, downtown, from noon to 2 p.m.; the play Everybody Loves Opal on Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Broach Theatre; the Green Hill Center Gala and Fundraiser for NC Art at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday; Black Nativity at NC A&T University on Saturday and Sunday at 3 and 8 p.m.; Christmas at

Blandwood Mansion on Saturday from 11-2 p.m. and Sunday from 2-5 p.m.; An Appalachian Nativity on Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 and 7 p.m.; and the 17 th annual Winter Walk For Aids at War Memorial Stadium on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. On Friday night, just about any street downtown will be part of the Festival of Lights. All the art galleries will be open till at least 9 p.m. serving merriment and refreshments, and several, including Lyndon Street Artworks and Artmongerz, will offer some items reduced for the holidays. I am told the foot traffic in the galleries has been the slowest since 9-11, so here’s hoping that things will pick up for them and that everyone will have some good holiday sales to close out 2008. Elm Street, Center City Park and Hamburger Square Park all have events

slated for the 6-9 p.m. time slot with the tree lighting culminating an evening of fun, friends and lots of music. Strolling carolers, music by High Lonesome Strings, the UNCG Tuba Band, the Hot Pink Flamingos and Windfall will all be in the Elm Street area. At Hamburger Square, discover the magic of Santa with pictures and sittings, and listen to members of the Greensboro Public Library who will read holiday stories while you eat roasted marshmallows. All of downtown is decorated beautifully, and should be seen by everyone. I am also told that the long awaited Mellow Mushroom restaurant will be opening any day, in the space formerly occupied by 2 Art Chicks, and that Yew Tree Gallery will move into the old Blue Diamond Gallery location. Lyndon Street has lots of gift items available for you. Glass-fused necklaces from Julie McKnight are a big hit with shoppers, and affordably priced; Jim Peterson has pottery and handmade pens that are the perfect classy gift; and Karen Dischell’s Trees are beautiful, already framed, and perfect for holiday gift giving. And don’t forget the Green Hill Center for NC Art when it comes to variety with it’s show offerings, availability of diverse artists, and value. The Winter Show runs through Dec. 31, and is free to the public. The Shop at Green Hill features unique hand crafted artworks from NC artists in a variety of mediums including ceramics, fiber, multimedia, painting, photography

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