Operation Blue Santa, holiday parade, Zilker Tree lighting: 8 things for Northwest Austinites to do this weekend, Nov. 24-28

Chuy's Holiday parade takes place Saturday in downtown Austin.

Chuy's Holiday parade takes place Saturday in downtown Austin.

Here is a roundup of events this weekend in and around Northwest Austin.


1. Operation Blue Santa
Residents are asked to donate a new, unwrapped toy this year to the Austin Police Department’s annual event, which Friday through Dec. 10. Operation Santa has grown to serve more than 6,000 families and distributes more than 20,000 gifts in the area each year. Drop-off locations are listed online, and donations are distributed to families Dec. 17. 512-974-2583.

Annie The production of "Annie" includes songs such as “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” “Easy Street,” “I Don’t Need Anything But You” and “Tomorrow.”[/caption]

2. ‘Annie’
This production of “Annie” is a new version of the iconic original featuring songs such as “It’s a Hard Knock Life” and “Tomorrow.” 8 p.m. (Fri. and Sat.), 2 p.m. (Sat.). $29-$99. Long Center for the Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside Drive. 512-474-5664. www.thelongcenter.org/event/annie

3. Santa on the Terrace
Children receive a free photo with Santa Claus with the Austin skyline as a backdrop. The event also features performances, family activities, food trucks and Black Friday discounts. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. Long Center for the Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside Drive. 512-474-5664. www.thelongcenter.org/event/santa-on-the-terrace

4. Blue Genie Art Bazaar
The 16th annual marketplace features handmade artwork and gifts from more than 200 local and regional artists. A portion of the proceeds every Monday goes to Make-A-Wish of Central Texas. Shoppers are encouraged to bring their own bags. The event continues until Dec. 24. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. (closes at 6 p.m. Dec. 24). Free. 6100 Airport Blvd. 512-222-7303. www.bluegenieartbazaar.com


5. North Pole Flyer
The 2.5-hour excursion features a visit from Santa and a reading of the North Pole Flyer book, the railroad’s own Christmas story. Santa poses for photographs and hands out a gift to each child. The event runs Nov. 26-30 and Dec. 1-18. 10 a.m., 2 and 6 p.m. (each date). $38 (age 3 and older), $48 (adult with lap child). Austin Steam Train Association, 401 E. Whitestone Blvd., Ste. C-100, Cedar Park. 512-477-8468. www.austinsteamtrain.org/special-events/north-pole-flyer

City-wide garage sale This weekend's City-Wide Garage Sale includes used, unusual, old and hard-to-find goods in the vintage and collectibles marketplace.[/caption]

6. City-Wide Garage Sale
Keeping Austin vintage since 1977, the event includes used, unusual, old and hard-to-find goods in the vintage and collectibles marketplace. The event continues on Sunday. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Sat.), 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (Sun.). Free (age 12 and younger), $7 (adults), $12 (early shopper, Sat. at 8:30 a.m.). Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road. 512-441-2828. www.citywidegaragesale.com

7. Chuy’s holiday parade
The Children Giving to Children Parade is rain or shine and features giant inflatable balloons, holiday floats, famous children’s characters, marching bands, classic cars and Santa. The parade benefits Operation Blue Santa, and attendees are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys to donate. 11 a.m. Free. Texas Capitol, 11th Street and Congress Avenue. www.chuysparade.com


8. 50th annual Lighting of the Zilker Holiday Tree
The ceremony includes local entertainment, food, novelties and live music. The Austin Civic Wind Ensemble plays prelude music, with event music by the Barton Hills Choir. The tree remains open to the public through Dec. 31. 6 p.m. (lighting ceremony), 6 p.m.-midnight (nightly). Free. Moonlight Tower in Zilker Park, Stratford Drive. www.austintexas.gov/zilkerholidaytree


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