FIRST FRIDAY: The Christmas edition

With grand openings, art shows, strolling singers and musicians, toy and food drives, and deals galore, the Dec. 2 First Friday is shaping up to be a festive occasion in Downtown Temple.

CHISHOLM TRAIL CHRISTMAS BALL

This year’s Chisholm Trail Christmas Ball, an annual gala benefiting the Bell County Youth Fair scholarship fund, will feature music by the legendary McBride & The Ride. The Christmas Ball will be Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Bell County Expo Center beginning at 6 p.m.

BLUE SANTA TOY DRIVE IS DEC. 2

A downtown street party will help provide hundreds of toys, books and stuffed animals to Temple kids in need. Sammy G’s fifth annual toy drive will be Friday, Dec. 2, on South 1st Street in front of Fire Base Brewing Company, and donations will go toward the Temple Police Department’s Blue Santa Project. 

HOLIDAY MARKET & FOOD TRUCK FRENZY

Burgers, bread, jewelry, artwork, pet supplies and tallow-based skin products — with more than 100 vendors confirmed, the Temple’s Holiday Market & Food Truck Frenzy likely has something for everyone on your shopping list. Presented by the Temple Small Business Coalition, Holiday Market will be 2-8 p.m. on Dec. 10 in the City Hall parking lot.

Southern Soul Music Festival

The Southern Soul Music Festival, featuring Tucka, will be at the Bell County Expo Center on Dec. 17. The show begins at 8 p.m. and tickets range from $90 to $150 and are available at bellcountyexpo.com. The show will be hosted by comedian Marvin Dixon and will also star Calvin Richardson, Fatdaddy, Pokey Bear, Sir […]

2023 TEXAS MUSIC SERIES LINEUP

You might want to get that 2023 calendar a bit early — some big concerts are coming to the Cultural Activities Center. The CAC’s 2023 Texas Music Series will feature eight popular bands, including Texas legend Radney Foster (above), crowd favorite Shinyribs and Marc Cohn, who hit it big in 1991 with Walking in Memphis.

LIGHT OF THE WORLD

The popular Vineyard Voice chamber vocal ensemble will present its annual Christmas concert — Light of the World — at Immanuel Baptist Church on Dec. 4. A second show is set for Dec. 5 at LifeWay Fellowship in Killeen.

Baylor dean to lead TSO’s Holiday Concert

UPDATE: Dr. Michael Alexander, an associate dean at the Baylor School of Music, will direct the Temple Symphony Orchestra during this year’s Holiday Concert. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 3 at Temple College’s Mary Alice Marshall Performing Arts Center.

Wilson Valley is home to farm-to-glass distillery

The Evans and Wilson families have been farming a piece of land near Little River for about 155 years, and now in addition to corn, wheat, oats and cattle, the ranch also is home to Bell County’s first farm-to-glass distillery.