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Santa waves to onlookers during last year’s holiday parade on Kadena Air Base. Jolly old St. Nick will once again anchor the parade that begins Friday at 5 p.m. and he will stick around Tinsel Town to hear children tell him their Christmas wishes.
Santa waves to onlookers during last year’s holiday parade on Kadena Air Base. Jolly old St. Nick will once again anchor the parade that begins Friday at 5 p.m. and he will stick around Tinsel Town to hear children tell him their Christmas wishes. (Fred Zimmerman / S&S file photo)

Kadena Air Base’s annual Tinsel Town holiday celebration is set to kick off this weekend with numerous events to entertain both young and old.

Festivities begin at 5 p.m. Friday with a holiday parade on Douglas Avenue from O’Connor Gym to the Schilling Community Center, where Tinsel Town is located. The parade will include floats and marchers from various groups and youth organizations, according to Tracy Thomas, programs coordinator for Schilling Community Center.

The parade will last about a half-hour, ending with Santa Claus riding into Tinsel Town on a fire truck. The annual tree lighting then will be held.

The town area officially opens Friday with the parade and closes that night at 9 p.m., Thomas said. It opens again Saturday from 1 to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 7:30 p.m. Attractions including carnival rides, moon bounces, laser tag and game booths will be on hand, Thomas said. Food booths also will be set up, as well as Santa’s house, where children can whisper their Christmas wishes to St. Nick.

In conjunction with Tinsel Town on Friday night, a family holiday craft workshop will be held in the community center’s ballroom from 7 to 9 p.m. For those wanting to purchase crafts rather than make them, a craft fair is scheduled Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the ballroom.

Other weekend events include a talent showcase Saturday beginning at 5 p.m., and a holiday dessert bake-off Sunday at 2 p.m.

While Tinsel Town isn’t officially open until Friday, one attraction is kicking off early and lasting one day longer. A new-age twist to the Christmas classic “The Nutcracker” will be held twice a day beginning Thursday and ending Monday. The Nutcracker Cirque uses trapeze artists, jugglers and aerialists, among others, to tell the story.

Performances are: 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Thursday; 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Friday; Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7:40 p.m.; and 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Monday. All shows will be in the big tent in the community center parking lot.

Contact the Schilling Community Center at 634-1387 for more information on any of the events.

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