1 “Wizard of Oz” – The Puppetry Arts Institute presents “The Wizard of Oz,” performed by puppeteer Kraig Kensinger, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday, at 11025 E. Winner Road, Independence. As a special gift, each child attending a performance will receive a free book to take home. The performances and books are sponsored by the Missouri Humanities Council with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
2 Independence historic sites open for Christmas on Friday – Vaile Mansion, 1500 N. Liberty St. (325-7430); Bingham-Waggoner Estate, 313 W. Pacific Ave. (461-3491); 1859 Jail & Marshal's Home Museum, 217 N. Main St. (461-1897). All three sites are open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and 1-4 p.m. Sundays, and cost $6 for adults; $5 for seniors; $3 for ages 6-16. 1827 Log Courthouse, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday, and by appointment only after 2 p.m., 107 W. Kansas Ave. (325-7890); Chicago & Alton Depot, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays; 12:30-4:30 p.m. Sundays, 318 W. Pacific Ave. Admission is free, but donations are welcome (325-7955.) All sites will be closed Dec. 23-25.
3 Christmas in the Park – Jackson County Parks and Recreation lights up your magical drive with more than 300,000 lights and 175 animated displays. Since opening in 1987, more than two million people have made the drive through Longview Lake Park, and this year's journey includes three new displays. Hours: 5:30 to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, and 5:30 to 11 p.m. Friday/Saturday, through Dec. 31. Enter at the Frank White Jr. Softball Complex, 3901 S.W. Longview Park Road (2 miles south of I-470 off of View High Drive). There is no charge, but voluntary exit donations will be accepted, with a portion of the proceeds divided among 40 Kansas City-area charities. For more information and directions, visit www.makeyourdayhere.com.
4 Blood Drive – The American Red Cross will be holding a blood drive beginning at 9 a.m. Friday, at the South Independence Branch of Mid-Continent Public Library, 13700 E. 35th St. Eligible donors will need to be at least 17 years old (16 with written parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds, and generally be feeling well the day of the donation. To donate, make an appointment online at www.redcrossblood.org. Allow an hour for your donation and bring any form of photo ID with you. For other eligibility questions, call 866-236-3276.
5 Night Before Christmas Carol – Join Charles Dickens in his study for a very special night. On this evening in 1843, he creates his holiday classic, “A Christmas Carol.” Renowned Dickens scholar, author, playwright, and lecturer, Elliot Engel, has crafted a work that allows David zum Brunnen to portray the 17 Christmas Carol characters and Charles Dickens himself. This event will take place at 2 p.m. Monday, at the Midwest Genealogy Center, 3440 S. Lee's Summit Road, Independence. This is a free event, but registration is required, call 252-7228.
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