Wonderland of events, activities scheduled

Christmas season has kicked off with shopping, Christmas Parades, light displays, Nativity scenes and the first sightings of Santa.

But if you've missed some of the seasonal happenings, fear not. For behold, we bring you good tidings of great events for the next several weeks.

The area Christmas calendar is full of festive fun, including some fantastic cultural events at the River Campus.

Tonight at 7:30, The University Choir and Choral Union will join the Southeast Missouri Symphony to perform "Vivaldi's Gloria!" in the Bedell Performance Hall.

At 2 p.m. this Saturday, the university percussion ensemble will perform holiday classics. The event includes music, coloring, milk and cookies. And it's free.

And at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 8, The Ruth Page Civic Ballet will bring a re-creation of the Nutcracker. This is a family friendly show with dancing and stunning costumes. Tickets may be purchased at rivercampus.org/event/the-nutcracker.

And while they're not holiday themed, the university will feature two art exhibitions featuring graduating seniors with a Bachelor of Fine Arts: one will be from Dec. 4-8. The exhibit will be open and free to the public at the River Campus. A reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Dec. 8. The second exhibition will be unveiled on Dec. 11 and run through Dec. 15, with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on Dec. 15.

On Dec. 5, the Southeast Wind Symphony presents a "dynamic program featuring elements of spinning, turning and whirling," according to its website with a show called "The Wheels on the ..." This show starts at 7:30 p.m., and admission costs $12.

One of the more popular musical events in the area is the "Sounds of the Season" performance, featuring some of the top vocal and musical talent in the region. It will be at 2 p.m. this Sunday. Tickets are a $10 donation with proceeds supporting the Southeast Cancer Care Fund.

Cape Girardeau Central High School presents "No Problem and The Terezin Promise, Winter One acts" Nov. 30 through Saturday at the Richard D. Kinder Performance Hall.

Chaffee will hold its annual Christmas Parade at 1 p.m. on Saturday; Jackson and Scott City will have their parades at 5 p.m. the same day.

The Lutheran Holiday Home Tour will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

There are many, many other church services, performances and tours sprinkled throughout the holiday season.

We hope one or more of these events will bring you great joy this Christmas season.