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Christmas lighting festival next month

LEAVENWORTH - The Bavarian-inspired community of Leavenworth will hold its annual Christmas lighting festival the weekends of Dec. 2-4, 9-11 and 16-18.

The lighting festival for the first three Friday, Saturday and Sundays next month will include old fashioned caroling, holiday characters and roasting chestnuts, just to name a few elements.

This year's lighting festival goes green with LED lights for all of the lighting. That includes a nearly six-foot high spruce tree that will be adorned with festive ornaments, bright lights and a tree-topper star.

Each Friday evening during the festival St. Nicholas will arrive by carriage to the Gazebo in Leavenworth's Front Street Park with traditional gifts of fruit and songs for children and families.

Each Saturday and Sunday during the festival, festivities will begin at noon, including Santa and live musical performances throughout the day.

Other features available leading to the 4:30 p.m. lighting ceremony are roasted chestnuts, gingerbread, locally made foods and traditional mulled wine.

Seasonal concerts and theatrical performances will be available during the lighting festival. That includes a theatrical performance of It's a Wonderful Life at 8 p.m. on Dec. 3 at the Festhalle Theater just a block from the lighting ceremony.

The lights will be lit all week long in Leavenworth during the festival, though the actual lighting ceremony will only be on Saturday and Sunday evenings during the first three weekends of December.

Leavenworth is more than just Christmas lighting and ceremonies, though, as several fall events are planned through the month of November.

These include the Christkindlmarkt on Nov. 25-27, the weekend after Thanksgiving, when holiday shopping and food booths will be available in downtown Leavenworth.

On Saturday, Nov. 12, there will be a ski swap at Cascade High School in Leavenworth.

On Tuesday, Nov. 22, the Banff Mountain Film Festival will visit Leavenworth during a showing at the city's Festhalle at 1001 Front St. The festival is an international film competition featuring the world's best footage on mountain subjects.

For information on all of the above, plus the latest on nature hikes in the Leavenworth area, visit www.leavenworth.org.

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