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The Nutcracker at Zoellner Arts Center: Your Weekend

Also, walk the Christmas Peace Pilgrimage from Nazareth or celebrate Christmas in the Mountains at Godfrey Daniels.

The Nutcracker by the Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. (Ballet Guild of the Lehigh Valley)
The Nutcracker by the Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. (Ballet Guild of the Lehigh Valley)

The Pennsylvania Youth Ballet’s annual performance of The Nutcracker at Zoellner Arts Center headlines another weekend of special holiday themed events in the Christmas City.

The holiday classic staged by the Ballet Guild of the Lehigh Valley will be performed at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday at Baker Hall. The performance will feature live music by the South Side Sinfonietta, with Eugene Albelescu conducting. Tickets are from $27 to $44.

At another end of the cultural spectrum, you can celebrate an old-time Christmas in the Mountains with The Druckenmillers at Godfrey Daniels at 4 p.m. Sunday.

The show features music from the Ritchie and Seeger families, as well as tunes from the West Virginia and North Carolina old-time traditions, and some traditional carols arranged in an old-time style.

There will be fiddles, dulcimer, banjo, guitars, mandolin and, of course, voices. Admission is $15.50 or $10.50 if you donate a new pair or socks or gloves to be donated to the Trinity Soup Kitchen.

Finally, Saturday will be the day of the 54th annual Christmas Peace Pilgrimage—a 10-mile walk from Nazareth to Bethlehem that symbolizes the journey of Mary and Joseph.

Pilgrims, who will meet before 10:45 a.m. in Bethlehem for a bus trip to Nazareth, “seek to reflect the non-violent life of Jesus Christ and his truth of forgiving love.”

The walk, which starts at the Nazareth Moravian Church and follows Route 191, ends at 5:30 p.m. at the Christ United Church of Christ at Center and Market streets in Bethlehem. Click here for more information.

Here’s what else is happening in Bethlehem this weekend:

  • The Christmas City Follies XIV, the Touchstone Theatre’s vaudevillian celebration of Christmas in Bethlehem, plays Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 and $15 for students and seniors. Advance tickets may be purchased at 610-867-1689 or online at www.touchstone.org.
  • Christkindlmarkt resumes for its fourth seasonal weekend at SteelStacks on Thursday, featuring aisles of handmade works by the nation’s finest artisans; traditional and contemporary holiday music; and a variety of food from vendors offering bratwursts, strudel, German roasted almonds, barbeque and more. Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem hours are Thursday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Advance tickets for Christkindlmarkt are $8 for ages 13 and older, $4 for ages 6-12, and admission is free for ages 5 and under. ArtsQuest members are also admitted free.
  • Meanwhile, in the Historic North Side Downtown, another traditional German-style holiday market, Christmas City Village, will reopen Friday for its third weekend in the Sun Inn Courtyard and spaces near the Historic Hotel Bethlehem and the Central Moravian Church. The wooden market huts are filled with unique Christmas gift ideas. As you shop, enjoy bratwurst with sauerkraut and warm up with a hot beverage including the popular hot mulled wine from Germany called Gluhwein. The market is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
  • The Bethlehem Live Advent Calendar unveils a live Christmas treat from the front door of the 1810 Goundie House at 505 Main St. at 5:30 p.m. sharp every day through Dec. 23. In years past, those treats have included special performances, holiday sweets and other gifts.
  • The Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites will continue to offer its seasonal holiday tours, which include the Christmas City Stroll, Scenic Horsedrawn Carriage Rides,the Bethlehem by Night Bus Tour and the holiday version of the Rise & Fall of Bethlehem Steel. For more information on tour times or to purchase tickets, contact the Historic Bethlehem Visitor Center at 505 Main St., call 1-800-360-TOUR or view this website: www.historicbethlehem.org.
  • The Lesson Center hosts an open house at its new location, 1509 Easton Ave., from 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday. Hear students perform, tour the studios and get information about lesson packages, which can be given as gifts.
  • A candlelight vigil in remembrance of the 20 children and 6 teachers killed one year ago at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. will be held at Payrow Plaza at 5 p.m. Saturday. Bring an unwrapped toy or new coat for a child under 12 to be given to a local family in need.
  • The Sands Bethlehem Event Center hosts XFE Cage Wars 32, a mixed martial arts fighting event, at 7 p.m. Saturday, featuring Rick Nuno, Mike Liberto and Adam Atiyeh. Tickets are from $42 to $130.
  • The Nighthawks have earned the title as “The World’s Best Club Band,” by churning through American roots music for more than 30 hard rocking years. Hear them at 8 p.m. Saturday at Godfrey Daniels. Admission is $21.50 in advance and $25.50 at the door.
  • Join Mr. & Mrs. Claus and the staff of The Lesson Center for a holiday open house - for its youngest students (ages 1-6), their families and friends, and the Lehigh Valley community. Students will perform, snacks will be available, as well as photos with Mr. & Mrs. Claus. It all gets under way at 10 a.m. Sunday at 1509 Easton Ave.
  • Watch figure skaters from the Charter Arts Academy Middle School in a special exhibition at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Steel Ice Center, 320 E. First St., Bethlehem. Admission is free.

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