It's time for a special Thanksgiving edition of Weekend in Entertainment. The Charlotte Christmas Village, "Home Alone" in concert, a tree lighting. And, of course, football. Joining David Boraks to discuss these and more is WFAE’s Sarafina Wright, producer of "All Things Considered."
David Boraks: Hi, Sarafina. Happy Thanksgiving.
Sarafina Wright: Hi, David. Happy Thanksgiving.
Boraks: So this morning we had Charlotte's annual Thanksgiving parade and there were a whole lot of Turkey themed road races around the region. Most people are good and full right now, spending time with family and friends and probably looking for a few things to do this weekend other than shop. What do you have for us?
Wright: Well, yes, I agree with all of that. So first up is the annual Charlotte Christmas Village in uptown at the corner of 7th and North Tryon Streets. It actually opened today right after the Thanksgiving parade. And what's cool about this is that it's European inspired with specialty foods like classic Austrian strudels, bratwurst with sauerkraut, and glazed nuts. There's hot mulled wine, cider, hot chocolate, and alcohol-free Glühwein. Also, the village bakery that features traditional sweets like Lebkuchen or gingerbread, kind of puts you in the mind of that. And then there's hand-twisted pretzels, cookies, and other goodies. So it's really like your traditional Christmas market that you would find throughout Europe, which is pretty cool with the contrast of the city's skyscrapers. And, you know, the skyline in general. There's just lots of vendors selling homemade holiday-themed items, traditional music and more. This is definitely a great event for the entire family.
Boraks: Well, that's great. How long will it run and what's the cost of admission?
Wright: So the Christmas village will be open through Christmas Eve. It opens daily at 11:00 a.m., except on Mondays. However, it will be open on Monday, Dec. 23, which obviously is right before Christmas Eve. And admission is absolutely free.
Boraks: Nice. Okay, moving on to Friday night. There's a performance titled Home Alone in Concert. I take it this is a spin on the classic holiday flick "Home Alone"?
Wright: Yes, it is. So on Friday night at the Belk Theater, there will be major '90s nostalgia, especially for people like me who grew up in the '90s. So this is "Home Alone" with a musical take with one of my favorites, "Home Alone," obviously with the legendary Macaulay Culkin. I guess he isn’t legendary to everybody [laughs], but to me, he is. And so the film will be played on the big screen and this will be above the orchestra. And the Charlotte Symphony will play the score of the film live.
Boraks: So what time is this, Sarafina?
Wright: The show starts at 7:30 p.m. And again, that's at the Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts in Uptown.
Boraks: Great way to get into the holiday spirit with Christmas right around the corner here. So on Saturday, there's the South End Tree Lighting at Atherton Mill. Tell us more about that?
Wright: Yes. So, South End's Tree Lighting is pretty epic. And it's even more interesting this year with all the retail additions at Atherton Mill following Small Business Saturday with tons of vendors selling their goods. The tree lighting will commence at 5:30 p.m. and that's at the corner of Tremont Avenue and South Boulevard. If you're coming down South Boulevard from uptown you’ll run smack into it.
Wright: So there will be holiday music, cocoa, coffee, hot donuts, which there will actually be a lot of donuts out there. There's a lot of donut shops in Charlotte lately.
Boraks: Tis the season for donuts if you ask me.
Wright: So I'm really looking forward to that because I'm definitely going to go to this. And so there'll be performances, an appearance from Santa and Mrs. Claus to light the South End holiday tree. And after the tree is lit, families can meet and take photos with Santa until 7:30 p.m. So I really like this event because it's just a great way to move into December. And you can get your kids photos out of the way with Santa and still have some stuff for you to do out there to enjoy.
Boraks: And finally on Sunday, the Panthers are back in town at Bank of America Stadium. Who are they playing and what can fans expect?
Wright: So the Panthers are indeed back to take on the Washington Redskins. The Panthers were doing great for a while with backup quarterback Kyle Allen since, as we all know Cam Newton is on injured reserve. But the past couple of weeks they've had some stumbling blocks and couldn't quite get it done in some really, really close games. But I do have a little faith they'll get their mojo back and bring home a win over the Redskins. I mean, they're 2 - 9, so I feel like we can for sure take this game.
Boraks: Well, let's hope so.
Wright: Yeah, we definitely need a win to keep any playoff hopes alive. But, you know, even still, if not, I really like how they've been persevering this season.
Boraks: Holiday season is indeed upon us. Thanks, Sarafina for filling us in.
Wright: Thank you, David.
Boraks: Sarafina Wright, is WFAE’s producer for "All Things Considered."