Bevy of holiday events held at UW

Deck the halls, or deck the campus — different departments are hosting holiday events at the University of Wyoming beginning this week, including the Festival of Trees, Holiday Market and performances of “The Nutcracker.”

The UW Art Museum’s Happy Holidays Laramie Festival of Trees kicks off the holiday season Nov. 29 to Dec. 1. The 26th-annual festival features a silent auction for decorated trees and other festive items donated by student and civic organizations as well as local businesses and community members. All proceeds go toward the Art Museum’s educational programs and community outreach.

A “Lighting of the Trees” reception will open the silent auction at 6 p.m. Thursday with music and dance performances from student and local groups. Visitors will also have the opportunity to vote for the People’s Choice Award, to be announced that evening. The silent auction ends at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Bidders do not need to be present to win.

The Art Museum will host additional festivities for families 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, including card and decoration crafting and more choral and dance performances. Santa Claus will be available to pose in photos.

The festival also opens a holiday exhibition of artwork by young Albany County students, on display until Dec. 15. All events take place at the Art Museum, located at 2111 E. Willett Dr., and are free and open to the public.

Another popular event, the Holiday Market, will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts lobby. Sponsored by the Staff Senate for the past two years, the annual market features local vendors selling a variety of homemade craft items, soaps and lotions, woods and textiles, housewares, jewelry, baked goods and other food.

“I just like looking at how creative people are and the different ideas that they come with,” said Heather Earl, market coordinator from UW Operations. “You never know what you’re going to see…. There’s always something new and exciting.”

Between 45 and 50 vendors are participating this year, many of whom have also participated in past years. Staff Senate will be also present selling tickets for its fall meat raffle and holiday cash raffle, the proceeds of which support staff programs like scholarships and Employee of the Quarter.

Entrance is free and the market is open to the public. Free parking will be available: “A” and “C” spaces except for handicap and fire lane restrictions will not be enforced in the parking lots north and east of the Buchanan building.

The week after the Festival of Trees and Holiday Market, dancing snowflakes and waltzing flowers, magical mice and marching soldiers will take the stage in UW Theater and Dance’s rendition of the “The Nutcracker.”

UW has put on a production of the ballet fantasy every four years since 1994. Directed by dance professor Marsha Knight and choreographed by associate professor Jennifer Deckert, UW’s “The Nutcracker” puts a Western spin on a fairy-tale-turned-ballet that has become a holiday classic around the world.

The UW Symphony Orchestra, directed by Michael Griffith, and the UW Lab School Treble Choir, directed by Jennifer Mellizo, will perform Tchaikovsky’s score to accompany the dancers.

“The Nutcracker” will run Dec. 6 through Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 9 at 2 p.m. in the UW College of Arts and Sciences auditorium.

Tickets are $16 for the public, $13 for senior citizens and $8 for students, and are available at the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts box office and the Wyoming Union information desk. Tickets can also be purchased at or by calling 307-766-6666.




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