Holidays continue to headline Gilbert events for Dec. 13-15

12Ks of Christmas
The 12Ks of Christmas is a pet event with a run. (Courtesy 12Ks of Christmas)

The 12Ks of Christmas is a pet event with a run. (Courtesy 12Ks of Christmas)

Dreaming of a white Christmas? It will not be this weekend in Gilbert, with temperatures hovering around 70 degrees. But that does not mean the town is not celebrating the holidays. Here are three events topping the calendar for the weekend.

Dec. 13-14

Holiday displays, performers light up Riparian after dark

The Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch trails are lit with luminarias and holiday light displays, and holiday entertainers will perform. The town partners with a local nonprofit agency each evening to collect items for those in need. For Dec. 13, it will be Gilbert and Rescue's Toy Drive. On Dec. 14, Maricopa Animal Rescues will be collecting dog food, blankets and supplies. Free. Dec. 6-7, 13-14, 20-21. 5:30-9 p.m. Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch Park, 2757 E. Guadalupe Road, Gilbert. 480-503-6200.

Dec. 13-15

Catch a holiday classic

Clara and the Nutcracker battle oversized mice and celebrate their victory with the Sugar Plum Fairy in the land of the sweets in this classic two-act ballet. Artistic Director Yen-Li Chen leads the Southwest Youth Ballet Theatre in bringing the story to life, and the Chandler Symphony Orchestra performs the music. $10-$30. 7 p.m. (Fri.); 2 p.m., 6:30 p.m. (Sat.); 3 p.m. (Sun.). Higley Center for the Performing Arts, 4132 E. Pecos Road, Gilbert. 480-279-7194.

Dec. 14

Dog it on a holiday run

The 12K’s of Christmas and Santa’s Pet Village bring together health, fitness and pet adoption in an annual festival. More than 20 pet rescue groups will be in Santa’s Pet Village for education and fundraising. Dogs, cats and rats will be available for adoption. For the more active, the 12K’s of Christmas offers a 12K run, a 6K run/walk and a 1.2K “Santa Sled Run” for families. Christmas carolers will perform along the run/walk route. Dogs can run with their owners. Costume prizes will be awarded. Free (village admission), $20 (sled run), $50 (6K), $55 (12K). 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (village open), 10:12 a.m. (runs begin). Freestone District Park, 1045 E. Juniper Road, Gilbert. 480-609-3978.
By Tom Blodgett

Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent 30 years in journalism in Arizona and is the editor of the Gilbert edition of Community Impact Newspaper. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he now serves as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.


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