Upcoming events in Chandler

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Nutcracker—Ballet Etudes 29th Anniversary

December 4-6, 2015; show times vary

Chandler Center for the Arts 250 N. Arizona Ave.

480-782-2680

Admission is $25 and $29

Let Clara’s magical journey surround you as she encounters life-size mice, swirling snowflakes, dancing confections and the Sugar Plum Fairy. A feast for the eyes and ears with colorful and imaginative costumes paired with Tchaikovsky’s original score, Ballet Etudes’ 29th annual production of The Nutcracker is the perfect way to celebrate the holiday season with the entire family. Backstage tours are available following most performances.

Chandler Farmers Market

December 3, 10, and 17, 2015; 3:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.

Dr. AJ Chandler Park 3 S. Arizona Ave

480-855-3539

Admission is free

Thursdays, October through May, 3:00-7:00 p.m. on the East side of Dr. A. J. Chandler Park. More than 40 vendors selling everything from fresh produce, breads, tamales and other specialty foods as well as jewelry and assorted arts and crafts.

Chandler Family Bird Walk

December 05, 2015 begins at 8:00 a.m.

Veterans Oasis Park and Environmental Education Center 4050 E. Chandler Heights Rd

Admission is free

Held the first Saturday of the month, November-April, local Desert Rivers Audubon provides guided bird walks around Veterans Oasis Park. Desert Rivers Audubon provides Bird Bingo Cards for the kids, loaner binoculars for kids and adults and expert field guides for the walks.

Nature walks depart every 15 minutes from their display tent and last approximately 45 minutes.

The Chandler Family Bird Walks are sponsored by the Desert Rivers Audubon, the City of Chandler and local grocery store, Bashas’ Supermarkets – this is an event for all ages.

Tumbleweed Tree Lighting Ceremony & Parade of Lights

December 05, 2015; 4:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

Dr. AJ Chandler Park 3 S. Arizona Ave

480-782-2735

Admission is free

Since 1957 Chandler has been the only city in the southwestern United States to have a tumbleweed Christmas tree! Chandler continues this unique southwestern tradition with a celebration that draws holiday visitors from far and wide. Starting with 1,500-2,000 tumbleweeds collected from around the city, members of the city’s Park Operations Division decorate a 35-foot tall wire framed Christmas tree. Once attached to the frame, the tumbleweeds are sprayed with 25 gallons of white paint, 20 gallons of flame retardant and dusted with 65 pounds of glitter. The tree is later adorned with approximately 1,200 holiday lights that give it a spectacular look, day or night.

The lighting of the Tumbleweed Tree draws a large crowd, with more than 12,000 expected to watch the Mayor and members of the City Council flip the switch to light this magnificent sight. This community festival also includes the beautiful Parade of Lights, traveling performers, and Santa’s House! Music, entertainment, arts and crafts and food and beverage carts will be located throughout Dr. A.J. Chandler Park

Event Schedule:

Santa’s House: 4:30-9:00 p.m.—take a free picture with Santa!

Parade of Lights: 7:00 p.m.—watch floats, vehicles and community groups light up the streets of Chandler with their creative display of holiday enthusiasm

Tumbleweed Tree Lighting Ceremony: 8:00 p.m.—watch the most unique tree light up the night when the Mayor flips the switch and the holiday season in Downtown Chandler officially begins.

The SnowCat

December 12, 2015; 11:00 a.m.

250 N. Arizona Ave. Chandler Center for the Arts

480-782-2680

Admission is $10

Dmitri Matheny’s The SnowCat is an original musical production by flugelhornist and composer Dmitri Matheny, The SnowCat is the heartwarming holiday tale of a little girl’s search for her wandering white cat on a chilly afternoon and the life lessons she learns on the spirit of sharing and gratitude that makes the holidays such a magical time. The SnowCat is based on the ancient Asian parable of The Oxherder, in which a herdboy’s quest to find his missing ox is likened to an individual’s journey through life. As in the ancient parable, the hero of Dmitri Matheny’s The SnowCat finds her companion and returns home to appreciate the beauty of nature, play music, and have fun with friends. She maintains hope, optimism and determination in the face of adversity; discovers the gentle power of sitting quietly; and embodies the spirit of sharing and gratitude that make the holidays such a magical time. “The SnowCat story is certainly spiritual, but it is secular, not religious, and thus it is universal. It contains great messages for both kids and adults,” Matheny said. “Children will appreciate the spirit of fun and friendship between Sam and the SnowCat. Adults may also view the story as an allegory or parable.” Run time is approximately 45 minutes and includes a coloring book. All ages, 3 and up recommended.

Sonoran Sunset Series at Veterans Oasis Park

December 17, 2015; 6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.

Veterans Oasis Park and Environmental Education Center 4050 E. Chandler Heights Rd

480-782-2890

Admission is free

Grab a blanket, grab a snack and enjoy the wonderful fall weather with an evening of free lakeside entertainment that is fun for the whole family!

Now in its sixth season, the Sonroan Sunset Concert Series is held at Veterans Oasis Park at the northeast corner of Chandler Heights and Lindsay roads. The performances are held at the lakeside amphitheater and in the event of inclement weather, the performances will be held indoors at the park’s Environmental Education Center.

The music will be provided by Arizona’s premier variety band, The Real Thing Band.

SoZo Presents: Nashville Songwriter Ryan Nicholson

December 13, 2015; 3:00-5:00 p.m.

SoZo Coffeehouse 1982 N Alma School Rd.

Admission is $20

Save the Date SoZo Coffeehouse will be opening its doors at 3:00 p.m. to host a very special event with talented Nashville singer/songwriter Ryan Nicholson. Ryan is the other half of Nashville’s up and coming duo Willow Park. Nominated Finalists in this years ISC songwriting contest, they’ve performed sold out venues all across music city. This is a special engagement with limited seating, be sure to purchase your early bird ticket for only $20 before they sell out. Kids 5 and under are free. Check out Ryan’s recent song/video premiere and share it with a friend – www.iloveyoulovemetoo.com Oh, and be sure to bring your sweet tooth because the Ghirardelli chocolate peppermint sprinkled mochas and real pumpkin lattes will be in full swing. Don’t forget to tell a friend.

Downtown Chandler Art Walk

December 18, 2015; 6:00-10;00 p.m.

Dr. AJ Chandler Park 3 S. Arizona Ave

480-855-3539

Admission is free

The Downtown Chandler Art Walk occurs the third Friday of each month, 6:00-10:00 p.m. and is a wonderful showcase for local artists and a great evening for visitors and residents alike. Artists will be displaying their work, ranging from oil painting and photographic to finely-crafted jewelry and most of the artwork will be available for purchase.

Live music and artist demonstrations are common features at the Art Walks that may include pottery, painting, pastel portraiture and high style contemporary floral design.

There will be the opportunity to view more artwork in the independently-owned galleries and retails shops, as well as enjoy dinner in the exciting variety of downtown restaurants.

The event is under the auspices of the Downtown Chandler Community Partnership (DCCP).