Manassas Journal Messenger | Holiday happenings


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Scrooge will have plenty to “hum-bug” about this holiday season with all the gatherings of local groups spreading tidings of comfort and joy.

In fact, he’ll moan and sputter about the stage of the Cramer Center in Vpstart Crow’s annual “A Christmas Carol” rendition Friday through Dec. 19. Unlike prior years, the group’s interpretation is much closer to Charles Dickens’ original story.

“I really wanted to keep it as close to the book as possible,” said Steve Cramer, the group’s managing director and interim artistic director. Scrooge is as vile as ever and special effects are greater. “There are good laughs and spooky moments, but it’s very friendly to children.”

Saturday the Manassas Community Chorale will sing “well-known traditional carols as well as newer Christmas favorites,” said director Becky Verner. Eighty vocalists from the county and surrounding areas will make up the “Christmas Celebration!” held at Manassas Baptist Church.

The large group will sing 10 selections, including a Hanukkah piece. A smaller ensemble of 22 will sing “A Musicological Journey Through the 12 Days of Christmas,” which incorporates different musical styles for each verse.

Manassas Dance Company presents a traditional depiction of “The Nutcracker” with live music by the Prince William Symphony Orchestra.

“It is the full traditional story,” said artistic director Amy Wolfe. “It’s not set in any strange time or any strange place.”

Children dance the children’s roles, she said, but all adult roles are by professional dancers. Newlyweds Liesl and Nickolai Balatsenko are the lead dancers as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier, respectively.


• The Manassas Art Guild’s “Let It Show” exhibit runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Java Rock, 8730 Sudley Road, Manassas. Hundreds of works by more than 30 Northern Virginia artists and acoustic music by The Noteable Strings, door prizes and refreshments. Free. (703) 791-5767 or http://www.

The Christmasfest Craft Show runs from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Dale City Recreation Center, 14300 Minnieville Road, Dale City. Free. More than 75 vendors will offer handmade pottery, copper art, leather, baskets, folk art dolls and wood work. Santa Claus makes an appearance at noon. (703) 670-7112.

“A Look at Prince William Past and Present,” a holiday art show and sale, will be held noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Old Manassas Courthouse, 9248 Lee Ave., Manassas.


• Woodbridge Community Choir presents “Joyous Holiday Sounds” at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Forest Park High School, 15721 Spriggs Road, and at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Our Lady of Angels Catholic Church, 13752 Mary’s Way, Woodbridge. Free. (703) 590-6011.

“Christmas in Vienna” holiday Pops concert, performed by the University of Mary Washington-Community Symphony Orchestra, features traditional Austrian carols at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the George Washington Hall, Dodd Auditorium. Free. (540) 654-1012.

“A Musical Menagerie,” by the NOVA/Manassas Community Orchestra, will be performed at 3 p.m. Saturday at Grace United Methodist Church, 9750 Wellington Road, Manassas. The concert for children and adults is a look at music about animals.(703) 257-6632 or

Manassas Community Chorale’s holiday concert “A Christmas Celebration!” is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Manassas Baptist Church, 8800 Sudley Road, Manassas. More than 80 voices will sing favorite holiday carols. Tickets at the door: $6 adults, $3 for 12 and younger. (703) 368-0883 or http://www.manassascommunity

• The Prince William Chorale presents “Sounds of Christmas” at 7 p.m. Dec. 11 at The Center for the Arts’ Kellar Theater at the Candy Factory, 9419 Battle St., Manassas. Free. (703) 330-ARTS or

•The New Dominion Choraliers of Prince William County presents “Ye Olde Fashioned Christmas” Dec. 11 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 12 at 4 p.m. at Gar-Field High School, 14000 Smoketown Road, Woodbridge. Other shows: 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Cameron United Methodist Church, 3130 Franconia Road Alexandria. Tickets: $5 adults, $1 or free with a canned good for Action in the Community Through Service for children 12 and under; the Cameron concert is free.

• Westminstrels Choir presents “Repeat the Sounding Joy” Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m. at Westminster at Lake Ridge retirement community, 12185 Clipper Drive. Stonewall Jackson High School Vocal Ensemble joins the group. Free. (703) 490-0854, Ext. 343.

The Woodbridge Youth Chorale will perform a winter concert at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14 at Woodbridge Senior High School and 4 p.m. Jan. 23 at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, 13900 Church Hill Drive, Woodbridge. For more information, call (703) 730-0759 or e-mail Woodbridge

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“Clara’s Christmas” and “Christmas Concertina” by the Asaph Dance Ensemble is Dec. 17 at 8 p.m. at Osbourn Park High School, 8909 Euclid Ave., Manassas, and Dec. 19 at 4 p.m. at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center at Northern Virginia Community College, 3001 N. Beauregard St., Alexandria. Tickets: $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger and seniors 65 and older. Tickets are available at the door or call the Asaph Ensemble at (703) 368-1812.

Handel’s “Messiah,” performed by the Old Bridge Chamber Orchestra and Chorus with professional soloists and local vocalists, is at 8 p.m. Dec. 17 and 7 p.m. Dec. 18 at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 15695 Blackburn Road, Woodbridge. Tickets: $8 and $10; available at the door or in advance at


• The 58th annual Greater Manassas Christmas Parade starts at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Parade hotline: (703) 369-9030.

Christmas Parade luncheon and holiday sweets and treats sale by the Women of Trinity Episcopal Church, 9325 West St., Manassas. Join them after the parade Saturday for soup and sandwiches and shop for unique homemade gifts and crafts. During the parade, doughnuts and hot chocolate will be for sale. Lunch is Saturday only from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sweets and treats shop also open Sunday 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. (703) 368-4231.

• A holiday open house features tree lighting, visits with Santa and refreshments from 5  to 8:30 p.m. Saturday at the Manassas Museum, 9101 Prince William St., Manassas. (703) 368-1873 or  http://www.manassas

“Civil War Christmas at Liberia Plantation” on Saturday is an experience of a Civil War soldier’s encampment and music by Prince William Little Theatre. Tours begin from the Manassas Museum every 30 minutes between 5 and 9 p.m. Visitors must arrive 15 minutes prior to tour and are bused to the plantation. Tickets: $15, or $12 for museum associates and children. Purchase tickets at or the museum, 9101 Prince William St., Manassas. (703) 368-1873.

Candy Cane Castle and Crafts will be offered Saturday at Hillendale Fire Station, 13511 Hillendale Drive, Dale City. Visit Santa 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (703) 590-2402.

Belmont, the estate and Memorial Gallery of figure artist Gari Melchers, will open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. Belmont is near the intersection of U.S. 1 and U.S. 17 at 224 Washington St., Falmouth. All buildings will be open and decorated for the holidays. Free. (540) 654-1055.

A ballroom dance from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday offers a short ballroom dance lesson followed by music for dancing in the Kellar Theatre at Center for the Arts, 9419 Battle St., Manassas. Cost: $10. Dances are held the first Sunday of every month. (703) 330-ARTS or

VRE Santa Train will run Dec. 11 from Manassas and Woodbridge. Santa rides the train with good girls and boys. Four trains will leave from Manassas and one from Woodbridge. VRE tickets will not be honored at this event. Toys for Tots will be accepted at each station. Purchase $3 tickets in advance from the preferred station. Manassas trains: Manassas Visitors Center (Manassas VRE Depot) 9431 West St., Manassas, daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Woodbridge trains: Greyhound Ticket Office, Woodbridge VRE station, 1040 Express Way, Monday through Friday 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; closed 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. (703) 361-6599.

• An open house will be held Dec. 11 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Historic Brentsville Courthouse, 12239 Bristow Road. Event includes refreshments and tree ornaments, sweatshirts and prints of the courthouse for sale. (703) 792-6191 or

• Holiday hayrides at the Ridgewood Community Center in Lake Ridge are on Dec. 11. Rides begin at 5:30 and last about 30 minutes. Refreshments are included, also caroling and a visit from Santa. Bring a blanket and flashlight. Cost: $5 adults and $3 children; LRPRA members get a $1 discount. Pre-registration is needed by Friday to guarantee a seat. (703) 491-2154, Ext. 112.

“The Holidays at Mount Vernon” runs through Jan. 6 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. See the third floor of the mansion, opened exclusively during the holiday season, an elaborate holiday dinner and historical items not usually on display. Cost: $11 adults, $5 ages 6 to 11, free for kids under 6; “The Holidays at Mount Vernon” is included in admission.

“Mount Vernon by Candlelight” features evening tours of the mansion and 18th-century characters caroling around a bonfire, free hot cider and cookies. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through January 6. Timed ticketing is required; advanced purchase is suggested. Cost: $15 adults and $8 children 11 and younger; purchase tickets at the main gate, 3200 George Washington Memorial Parkway, Mount Vernon, or in advance at or call (703) 573-SEAT.


“A Christmas Carol” by the Vpstart Crow Productions, Inc./Virginia Shakespeare Company, runs 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 19 at the Cramer Center, 9008 Center St., Manassas. Tickets: $20 adults and $15 students and seniors. (800) 955-5566 or (703) 365-0240.

“A Christmas Carol,” with music and lyrics by Jule Styne and Bob Merill, begins at 10 a.m. Dec. 11 at Forest Park High School, 15721 Spriggs Road, Woodbridge, as part of the Park Authority’s Magic Window series. Tickets: $6 at the door. (703) 670-7112, Ext. 0, or

“The Nutcracker” by Manassas Dance Company will be performed at Stonewall Jackson Senior High School, 8860 Rixlew Lane, Manassas. Shows: Dec. 10 at 8 p.m., Dec. 11 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Dec. 12 at 5 p.m. Tickets: $25 adults, $20 for seniors 62 and older and children 17 and younger. (703) 218-6500 or visit http://www. Tickets also available at Manassas Dance Company, (703) 257-1811.

“The Christmas Schooner” musical runs through Dec. 24 at the Wayside Theatre, 7853 Main St., Middletown. Tickets: $21 to $26, with discounts by request for full-time students, seniors and groups of 20 or more, except for Saturday night performances; $10 for ages 17 and younger. (540) 869-1776 or

charitable causes

• Purchase a Love Light in memory or in honor of someone for Potomac Hospital’s Love Light tree. Lights are $10 each and tax-deductible. A remembrance celebration on Sunday will feature the Woodbridge Community Choir and the lighting of the tree. For more information visit the main entrance information desk or gift shop, or call (703) 670-1539 and leave a message.


• A gingerbread house workshop for ages 5 and older will be held Dec. 9 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Center for the Arts, 9419 Battle St., Manassas. Cost: $6; all supplies included. (703) 330-ARTS or

Holiday workshops in art and drama will be held Dec. 28-30 at Center for the Arts, 9491 Battle St., Manassas. Times and costs: Ages 5 to 7, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., $60; ages 8 to 12, 1 to 4 p.m., $90. Register early; space is limited. (703) 330-2787.

Staff writer Emily Brown can be reached at (703) 878-4650.

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