What's happening this weekend

Lights, markets and live shows kick off a busy December

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This first weekend of December is a great time to get out and enjoy all the city has to offer before holiday shopping, family gatherings and inevitable snowstorms derail plans for much-needed free time.

There are plenty of holiday-related events going on to help make spirits bright. Potter Park Zoo’s annual Wonderland of Lights, which is open Thursday-Sunday evenings until Dec. 23, provides a unique look at the zoo after hours, illuminated by thousands of Christmas lights twinkling in every direction. Visit Lansing’s Southside Community Center on Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. for its holiday market, featuring booths from more than 60 artists, crafters, farmers, bakers and value-added food producers. Or make a trip out to Laingsburg for its Winterfest and see homes and businesses decked out in holiday decorations, shop at the Winter Market and enjoy Santa’s Light Parade and the silent disco.

On the live music front, ‘90s tribute band Be Kind Rewind will rock out at The Green Door on Friday night with nostalgia-inducing radio hits. Four-piece folk group The Dangling Participles will release its new LP, “One More Drop,” at its show at UrbanBeat on Friday. Voted best Folk Artist/Band in this year’s Top of the Town contest, the group’s new album is sure to be a hit. Rich Tupica, our music columnist, got the inside scoop from a couple of the band’s members in this week’s Turn it Down. Check out Live & Local for a full list of concerts around Lansing this weekend.

If you’re looking to work off any weight gain from Thanksgiving dinner, the Old Town Commercial Association is hosting its 15th annual Scrooge Scramble 5K on Saturday morning. Show up ready to take photos in a holiday-themed getup for a chance to win the costume contest.

“Exile,” a Lansing-made feature film by Burmese refugee Thang Mung and Lansing-based iStar Video Production, is showing at Celebration Cinema theaters across the state this weekend, including the Lansing location at 200 E. Edgewood Blvd. The film’s website reads, “When a ninja assassin is forced to leave behind everything he’s ever known, he finds new life and love in unexpected places.” Loosely based on the life of the Biblical character Moses, the action-packed film delivers a message about the love of God just in time for Christmas.

Finally, don’t forget about the theater productions taking place this weekend. The Williamston Theatre’s “A Very Williamston Christmas,” a parody of guilty pleasure Hallmark Channel romantic comedies, has performances Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. At the Virginia Schlichter Auditorium in the Mason Area Historical Museum, the Generations Community Theater will put on its rendition of the classic holiday tale "A Christmas Carol” on Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. This version is a live radio play, complete with nostalgic radio commercials that take audiences back to 1944 when the performance is set.

With so much to do, there’s no reason to sit at home watching reruns and longing for the return of warmer weather. Bundle up, grab a friend or loved one and hit the town. I wish you the best of weekends.

(Nicole Noechel is City Pulse events editor.)

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