Tom's Farm in Rossville is offering the opportunity to have fun and help those in need at a fall festival of thanks and giving.
Cannon Center for the Performing Arts, 255 N. Main
Fri., Nov. 20, 7:30-9:30 p.m., Sat., Nov. 21, 5:30-7:30 p.m. and Sun., Nov. 22, 2:30-5:30 p.m.
When I first saw this name of this production I thought it was an invite to a family reunion. Much to my surprise—we all do love our nutty families, don't we?—this event is actually a union of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker and New Ballet Ensemble & School. Featuring a cast of 145 young dancers who bring the traditional Nutcracker into the 21st century, this modern day ballet is set on Beale Street where a hip hop battle erupts, resolving peacefully as snow descends on a festive Memphis evening. Just as unique as the performance is the surprising weave of music performed by The Memphis Symphony as they play the first ever live Tchaikovsky Hip Hop Battle, scored by Memphis artist, Sam Shoup, original Flamenco, and adapted Irish music by Roy Brewer and Booker T's Green Onions. Perhaps this could be a new holiday tradition celebrating the diversity of Memphis. Some other fine performances this weekend include Peter Pan, The Magic Flute, The Beggar's Opera, Doubt, and Pippin. And don't forget that this is the weekend for Nutcracker Sweet Children's Ball benefiting Children's Ballet Theater on Sunday.
Graceland, 3717 Elvis Presley
Fri., Nov. 20, 6 p.m.
Last year John Stamos "flipped the switch," turning on the lights at Graceland. This year Trisha Yearwood illuminates the holiday season at Graceland—with a little help from Le Bonheur Children's Hospital patients. Yearwood will also perform a song for those who love the holiday season as much as Elvis did. Elvis loved Christmas so much that it takes three weeks to decorate. From the blue lights along the driveway to the interior decorations, they are all the original decorations displayed by Elvis and the Presley family. Channeling his inner Elvis, Santa and his red jumpsuit-inspired suit will arrive by limousine and police escort. Santa will be available for pictures with the kids following the lighting ceremony. And in the generous spirit of Elvis, this event is open to the public and absolutely free. Though you can buy the Christmas at Graceland package if you would like. It's pretty cool and you can check it out here. Zoo Lights and Starry Nights, two highly anticipated annual traditions, open this weekend as well. It's going to be a de-light-ful weekend.
Amurica World Headquarters, 410 Cleveland
Fri., Nov. 20, 7-9 p.m.
Winners from the past year of storytelling now compete for the title of Grand Master Storyteller of Memphis 2015. And since not everyone celebrates a traditional holiday season—or wants to celebrate this early, I will offer some other event suggestions without a holiday theme. British Arrows Awards are always a fun time featuring the best of the UK’s advertising ingenuity. Memphis Comic and Fantasy Con and KissCon Memphis are also being held this weekend. You can Deal Cancer Out or go on a Dine01 Food Tour. Take a Bacon+Bourbon Class or visit Sara Foster who will sign her book, Foster’s Market Favorites: 25th Anniversary Collection. There you go.
Tom's Farm, 1665 Murrell, Rossville
Sat., Nov. 21, 2-5 p.m.
Share the things you are thankful for this season with others. Tom is going to help you. Head out to his farm in Rossville. Enjoy hay rides, a corn maze, and bonfires with roasted marshmallows and hot dogs. And bring items for those in need. Tom will get them where they need to go. Another way to express thanks might be to participate in this year's Cranksgiving with Urban Bicycle Food Ministries. If you would like to give back by helping the animals, consider "Run for the Claws" 2015 Meowathon 5K & Silent Auction. However you express gratefulness, I hope the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday brings you a cornucopia of blessings.
Memphis Botanic Garden, 750 Cherry
Fri., Nov. 20, 5-8 p.m., Sat., Nov. 21, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sun., Nov. 22, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
In February 1976, local artists Cissy Jones and Patti Lechman met in a pottery class at Memphis College of Art. They decided to join together and open their own studio space at Summer and Hollywood where they offered classes to the general public. By 1978 the duo received a charter and formed the Memphis Potters' Guild. Some of the guild members represented in this 2015 holiday show and sale were there in the humble beginnings almost 40 years ago. When you purchase their art for yourself or as a gift for someone else you are preserving the integrity and well being of this wonderful organization, creativity, and independent artisans. Another gift idea might be from authors James H. Smith and Jerry Lee Smith who will be at the Women's Exchange Tea Room this weekend reading and signing Snowball: A Christmas Story. For more holiday markets and events check out Shepherd's Haven Christmas Program, Open House & Holiday Mixer at Village Art Gallery, artist reception for "Xmas: 10 Years of Christmas in Pencils,"and Holiday Store Opening and Ornament Unveiling at the Metal Museum.
For a full list of what’s happening this weekend in and around Memphis, check out our calendar of events. Also, be sure to tag your favorite Instagram photos of Memphis while you are out and about with the #memphisflyer hashtag. I hope you have a great weekend.