MATTHEWS – As temperatures drop and the days grow shorter, Matthews is about to get very festive.
The town will soon kick off its series of Hometown Holiday Celebration events that include concert performances, stage productions of favorite holiday shows, a gingerbread house contest, the annual tree lighting ceremony and some special appearances by the big man in the red suit.
Organizations and nonprofits throughout Matthews – the Matthews HELP Center, the Matthews Chamber of Commerce, Matthews Playhouse, Matthews Ballet, Jamison Realty and more – will join the town in hosting the events, which take place throughout December.
“The biggest change this year was we tried to include as many town organizations as we could,” said Lee Anne Moore, special events manager for Matthews. “That’s my biggest thing – to combine everything with Matthews.”
Moore said the events draw in thousands of people each year, and the Hometown Holiday Celebration offers something for everyone.
“There’s definitely something for everybody, whether you’ve got kids or you don’t have kids,” Moore said. “… We combine our efforts so there’s something for everyone.”
The following special events are part of Matthews’ Hometown Holiday Celebration series. Call the Matthews Community Center at 704-321-7275 for more information.
Matthews Ballet presents ‘The Nutcracker’
Performances are scheduled for Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 7 and 8 at the Fullwood Theater, 100 McDowell St. Saturday performances will be at 7 p.m., and Sunday shows will be at 3 p.m. Tickets are on sale at the Matthews Community Center and cost $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 12 and younger.
Hometown Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting
This annual event will take place Dec. 7, a Saturday, from 3 to 6 p.m. on the green in front of town hall, 232 Matthews Station St. The free festival will feature crafts for kids, carriage rides, live entertainment, magicians, photos, a visit from Santa and the lighting of the tree complete with pyrotechnics.
Downtown Matthews Holiday Stroll
This annual event, sponsored by the Matthews Chamber of Commerce and Jamison Realty, will take place Dec. 7, a Saturday, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and offer a stroll through the streets of downtown Matthews for holiday treats, prizes and shopping opportunities. Pick up a map and treasure hunt bags for children at the chamber’s office, 210 Matthews Station St. This event is free to attend.
Gingerbread House with a Heart Contest
Participants can enter their unique gingerbread house creations through Nov. 30, and judging will take place during the holiday stroll on Dec. 7. This event is co-sponsored by the Matthews HELP Center and the Matthews Chamber of Commerce. Find more information at www.matthewschamber.com.
‘A Classic Christmas TV Special’
Matthews Playhouse will present this show on Dec. 13, a Friday, at 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 14, a Saturday, at 2 and 4 p.m.; and Dec. 15, a Sunday, at 2 p.m. Performances will take place at the Fullwood Theater, 100 McDowell St.
Tickets cost $10 and are available at www.matthewsplayhouse.com.
Matthews Playhouse will present this musical, based on the popular Charles Dickens story, on Dec. 14, a Saturday, at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $10 and are available at www.matthewsplayhouse.com.
American Girl Christmas Tea
Mothers and daughters can enjoy story time, a doll craft to take home and holiday tea on Dec. 14 or 15, Saturday or Sunday, at either 1 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. Cost to attend is $12 per person, including adults, and the event will take place at the Matthews Community Center, 100 McDowell St.
Breakfast with Santa
Children ages 2 to 8 can enjoy breakfast and holiday crafts with Santa on Dec. 14 or 21, both Saturdays, at either 9 a.m. or 10:45 a.m. Cost to attend is $5 per person, including adults, and the event will take place at the Matthews Community Center, 100 McDowell St.
Matthews Concert Band holiday performance
This free concert will take place Dec. 19, a Thursday, at 7:30 p.m. at the Matthews Community Center, 100 McDowell St.