It always begins to look a lot like Christmas on Thanksgiving weekend. Here are a few of the holiday festivities planned around the state:
Christmas lights in Concord
CONCORD: This year’s Concord Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration, to run from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday downtown on North Main Street, will feature music, entertainment, children’s events and fireworks. Santa will arrive with the Concord Fire Department at 5:30 p.m., with fireworks planned for 6 p.m. Info: Event Facebook page.
‘Unsung Heroes’ parade in Derry
DERRY: The annual Nutfield Holiday Parade steps off downtown at 1 p.m. Saturday along Broadway and Crystal Avenue. This year’s theme is “Unsung Heroes.”
Expect more than 80 floats, along with marching units, performers and costumed characters. Info: Greater Derry Londonderry Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra in Queen City
MANCHESTER: The multi-platinum progressive rock group Trans-Siberian Orchestra celebrates “25 years of ‘Christmas Eve’ and Other Stories” in shows at 3:30 p.m. Friday and 8 p.m. at the SNHU Arena, 555 Elm St. Info: snhuarena.com
Holiday shows at the Palace
MANCHESTER: Look for the return of the classic story of redemption — “A Christmas Carol” — this weekend at 7:30 p.m. Friday; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and noon Sunday. The production run will continue through Dec. 22 at 80 Hanover St.
In addition, a Chanukah at the Palace concert with the a cappella group Maccabeats is set for 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 29. Special guest will be Laser Show USA, which was featured on “America’s Got Talent.” Info: 603-668-5588 or palacetheatre.org.
Lights and displays in North Conway
NORTH CONWAY: The Schouler Park Tree Lighting takes place from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Saturday.
In addition, the Festival of Trees at Settlers Green go on view for its first of two weekends of displays. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. There’s also a Celebration Among the Trees and Cocktail Party from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday.
A ‘New England Christmas’
PORTSMOUTH — Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond, an outdoor skating rink at the Strawbery Banke Museum, opens for the season on Friday at 9 a.m., weather permitting.
In general, the rink will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Conditions and schedules: strawberybanke.org/skate.cfm and Facebook page Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond.
And while you’re in the city, check out Pontine Theatre’s “A New England Christmas,” which runs Friday through Sunday at its Plains Schoolhouse Theatre on Plains Avenue. The theater animates and gives voice to bunraku-style puppets in two seasonal stories: “Honey & Myrrh” (1898) by Hampton Falls’ Alice Brown and “The Old Peabody Pew” (1905) by Buxton, Maine’s Kate Douglas Wiggin.
Musician Dudley Laufman, who plays melodeon, harmonica and fiddle, will provide music between the tales.
More events around the state:
A silent-film star who really couldn’t talk
WILTON — Raymond Griffith, known as the “Silk Hat” comedian, was a silent film actor who really couldn’t talk, thanks to a childhood vocal injury.
In the 1920s, his star status rivaled that of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, though by decade’s end, the advent of “talkies” films would derail his career.
But the elegantly dressed comic, who as a youngster attended St. Anselm Prep School in Goffstown, will return to the spotlight in a double feature of two of his surviving works.
“Paths to Paradise” (1925) and “Hands Up!” (1926) will be screened with live music by Granite State musician Jeff Rapsis, on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Town Hall Theatre, 40 Main St.
Admission is free or by $10 donation to the silent-film series.
Following the arrival of sound pictures in 1929, Griffith was largely doing behind-the-camera work, with one notable exception: he played a non-talking role as a dying French soldier in Lewis Milestone’s World War I classic “All Quiet on the Western Front.” The 1930 went on to win that year’s Academy Award for Best Picture. As a producer, Griffith’s work included the classic family film “Heidi”(1937) and “The Mark of Zorro” (1940).
Info: wiltontownhalltheatre.com or 603-654-3456.
Colonial era at Fireside Tavern Night
EXETER — The American Independence Museum will host a Fireside Tavern Night in and around the circa-1775 Folsom Tavern, 164 Water St., from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2.
There will be music from the colonial era, fireside cooking demonstrations, hot cider and refreshments, and simple craft-making activities.
It’s free for all ages.
“We will also have local vendors selling handcrafted and carefully curated gifts,” said the museum’s Sarah Jaworski, who noted Folsom Tavern will also be decorated for the holidays. “It will be a very festive atmosphere.”
Look for children’s games, history books and more.
Guest are encouraged to bring healthy non-perishable food and toiletry donations for St. Vincent dePaul. Info: independencemuseum.org.