Midland Center for the Arts holiday season provides festive fun for the whole family

We are officially in the ‘holiday season’ with Thanksgiving next week. If you’re looking for ways to enjoy the festivities or start your shopping, the Midland Center for the Arts has an event for you. To kick off their holiday programming, the center hosts a popular event, the annual Holiday Art Fair on Sat-Sun, Nov 18-19. 

The fair features 40 local artists and vendors, providing unique handmade items and great gifts. The event is held in their lobby, and includes a Holiday Sweet Shop with free activities for children, and local music. Proceeds from the event go towards the art and science exhibits, Studio School, youth STEM classes, workshops, educational programs, and outreach. 

If you’re hoping to sneak in a visit with Santa following the Santa Parade downtown, rumor has it he will be making an appearance at the Holiday Art Fair. 

The Holiday Art Fair costs $5 for one day tickets on Saturday, Nov. 18 from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, and $8 for a two-day pass, including Sunday, Nov. 19 from noon to 5:00 pm. It is free for museum members, those 17 and under, and ticket holders for Cirque Dreams Holidaze performances. 

:Million Dollar Quartet" at the MCFTA on November 30.
Alex Woody, Midland Center for the Arts communications and public relations manager, says the season is extra special this year because Midland is the first stop of an exciting national holiday tour.

“We’re the launch of Cirque Dreams Holidaze, and it’s nearly sold out. This is a dazzling circus holiday extravaganza,” Woody says. “This is returning after a prior sellout in 2018, it’s full of really fun music, great acrobatics and cool holiday effects.”

On Tuesday, Nov. 21, the Vienna Boys’ Choir: Christmas in Vienna brings a six-century history of Australian folk songs, classical masterpieces, and holiday favorites. “This is the oldest active choir in the world, so it’s a really phenomenal performance,” Woody says. 

Thursday, Nov. 30 brings a rocking event, inspired by the hit musical, Million Dollar Quartet, the show is given a festive flair. The seasonal reimagining features Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley. Expect to hear holiday hits like “Jingle Bell Rock,” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”

December continues with the merriment as the Center State Theatre presents a sold-out Irving Berlin’s White Christmas Dec. 8-17.
Abby Mueller performs with the MSO on Dec 9.
On Saturday, Dec. 9, the Holiday Pops with Midland Symphony Orchestra brings an extra layer of pizazz with Broadway star Abby Mueller. She originated the role of Carole for the first national tour of “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical”.

There’s also a free concert in the lineup too, with the Men of Music Christmas Concert at the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish (3516 East Monroe Road). Donations for the Midland County Emergency Food Pantry Network will be accepted. 

Saturday, Dec. 16 marks the Youth Honor Choirs Holiday Concert, followed by the finale of holiday programming on Tuesday, Dec. 19 with Christmas in Killarney
“This is a fun musical of different Irish traditions and some of your favorite holiday songs,” Woody says. 

"Christmas in Killarney" at the MCFTA on December 19.The diverse lineup is reflective of the center’s mission to provide entertainment and education to all. 

“Our programming team works diligently to find programming that’s really going to speak to people throughout the region,” Woody says. “We want people to come here and celebrate whatever denomination they are, and we’re celebrating all holidays. We always look forward to collaborating with our community and bringing really fun, energetic performances and exhibits to celebrate this really diverse community we have here in Midland.”

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Sarah Spohn is a Lansing native, but every day finds a new interesting person, place, or thing in towns all over Michigan, leaving her truly smitten with the mitten. She received her degrees in journalism and professional communications and provides coverage for various publications locally, regionally, and nationally — writing stories on small businesses, arts and culture, dining, community, and anything Michigan-made. You can find her in a record shop, a local concert, or eating one too many desserts at a bakery. If by chance, she’s not at any of those places, you can contact her at sarahspohn.news@gmail.com.