Gilbert hits home stretch for holidays

Riparian Preserve, Riparian After Dark,
A child enjoys the Riparian After Dark event at the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch. (Courtesy Town of Gilbert)

A child enjoys the Riparian After Dark event at the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch. (Courtesy Town of Gilbert)

For those looking to celebrate the holidays in a Gilbert way, here are some last opportunities for 2019.

Dec. 19

Check out Winter Solstice at the Riparian Preserve

Claude Haynes of the East Valley Astronomy Club will take participants on an interstellar journey to learn more about the universe. Haynes will guide the group on spotting constellations and tracking the movement of the stars and will explain how the universe came to be. Participants should wear comfortable shoes and bring a flashlight. Registration is required. Free (HD South members), $10 (nonmembers). 6-8 p.m. Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch Park, 2757 E. Guadalupe Road, Gilbert. 480-926-1577.

Dec 20-21

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 perform. The town partners with a local nonprofit agency each evening to collect items for those in need. On Dec. 20, it will be non-perishable food items for Open Arms Food Bank. On Dec. 21, it will be hats, gloves and socks for St. Vincent de Paul. 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. 21

Indulge in a Gilbert theater tradition

Hale Centre Theatre celebrates its 17th year of bringing Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” to its stage. The Hale production features the traditional carols, period costumes and memorable holiday characters. Two of the Dec. 21 shows are the only remaining that are not sold out. 2 p.m., 8 p.m. $32-$48. Hale Centre Theatre, 50 W. Page Ave., Gilbert. 480-497-1181.

Dec. 23

Join in public menorah lighting

The lighting of a 12-foot menorah also has a “gelt drop”—money in the form of chocolate coins. Free. 6 p.m. SanTan Village, 2218 E. Williams Field Road, Gilbert, by the Harkins Theater. 480-269-6680.
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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