CHARLESTON — Eastern Illinois Univeristy’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) Holiday Fest will take place in the Doudna Fine Arts Center Dec. 5-8. The inaugural event combines a number of the University’s annual events and brings them all together in one convenient location. From the annual Holiday Art Sale to live musical performances, the Doudna welcomes the holidays in grand style.
The Spirit of Christmas concert featuring EIU’s Choral Ensembles will be present at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5 in the Dvorak Concert Hall and will feature the premiere of the Camerata Sinfonietta. The Camerata Sinfonietta is Charleston’s first professional orchestra featuring musicians from Illinois and western Indiana. Joining the Spirit of Christmas Concert will be the Charleston high School Advanced Chorus and the Iroquois West Chamber Choir.
The Music Department will present the Holiday Concert at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8 with all the major music ensembles performing including the Concert Band, EIU Jazz Ensemble, Wind Symphony, the Choral Ensembles and the Eastern Symphony Orchestra. The concert will take place in the concert hall.
For those interested in doing a little holiday shopping, the Holiday Art Sale will features original handmade items from a variety of area artists. Items will include ceramics, wood items, jewelry, ornaments, prints, hats, scarves, and much more. A portion of the Holiday Art Sale proceeds support the Art Department Scholarship Fund. Hours for the Holiday Art Sale are Thursday, Dec. 5 from 5 to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6 and 7 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 8 from noon to 6 p.m. A gift wrapping will also be available during the event.
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Students from the Theatre Department will present “It’s A Wonderful Life: Radio Play” at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6 and 7, with a 2 p.m. matinee performance on Sunday, Dec. 8. The place will take place in the Theatre and tickets will be sold at the door of the Theatre. Tickets are available on the day of the performances and not at the box office.
The CLAS Holiday Fest will also feature holiday themed activities sponsored by EIU’s Biology Department and the Tarble Arts Center, a children’s puppet show on Sunday afternoon and a few other surprises.
The CLAS Holiday Fest also features the area’s largest decorated Christmas tree in the center of the Doudna concourse. The tree is the perfect place to meet your friends and get your picture taken. Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be dropping in at the Holiday Fest throughout the four days, so be ready to visit the jolly ol’ elf from the North Pole.
The CLAS Holiday Fest is free and open to the public. There is a cost to attend the music performances in the Dvorak Concert Hall.
The Doudna Fine Arts Center is located at 1860 South 7th St. in Charleston on the campus of Eastern Illinois University. Convenient free parking is located near the fine arts center. To arrange accommodations for those needing special assistance, contact Doudna Fine Arts Patron Services at 217-581-3110 or firstname.lastname@example.org.