“Echoing their joyous strains”

Sing your heart out! Carol at fireside in the good old-fashioned way. Human-scale non-profit observance of the seasonal festivities can be yours. At Big Stacy Park (Woodland Avenue and East Side Drive; start at Woodland and head toward Big Stacy Pool) begins a trail of luminarias, courtesy of the Travis Service Unit of the local Girl Scouts council. By the time it’s dark, the lights will be lit, and the singing is scheduled to be from 6:30 to 8:30 tomorrow evening (Saturday), just across the creek from Travis Heights Elementary School.

Expect to warm up with hot cocoa and cider. In exchange for participating in the festivities, those attending are asked to bring non-perishable food items for the Capital Area Food Bank, which has met a greater demand than usual and truly needs replenishing. This marks the tenth year for this small-scale trail of lights.

Beyond singing for a good cause, in the same neighborhood earlier on the same day, there’ll be opportunities to shop for a good cause and to buy handmade tamales for a good cause. Tamales made just the day before at the annual Travis Heights Elementary School tamalada will be available at the school from 9:00 am until noon, along with breakfast tacos and Mexican-style hot chocolate. The children of the school will perform ballet folklorico and will play music. This is usually a good place to find recycled Christmas ornaments and decorations, also on sale as part of the event.

Those same Girl Scouts who’ll sing in the evening will hold a Christmas crafts bazaar earlier in the day, from 1:30 to 4:00 pm in the parking lot at Washburn’s Town & Country Cleaners (1423 South Congress). That’s just a short walk from Ten Thousand Villages at 1317 South Congress, marketing fair trade handicrafts from around the world.

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