Garden City will play host this weekend to a slew of Christmas-themed events.
* Garden City Arts invites the public to an opening reception for its holiday show, "Toys 'N Joys," from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at 318 N. Main St. Refreshments will be served.
The exhibit is a mix of two-dimensional and three-dimensional work by local and area artists. Included will be pieces by Wanda Stallings, Vivian Fankhauser, Jeani Gustafson, Archie Oliver, Shane Chapman, Lisa Neely, Leah King, Synthia Preston, Thela Rich, Karen Holliday, Jeanie Tomson and many more. Among the works are holiday decorations and Christian art.
The show runs through Dec. 29.
* Saturday's festivities downtown include a concert, carriage rides, caroling and a parade.
The Commerce Bank's Garden City TubaChristmas Concert will begin at 3 p.m. on Grant Avenue. Public admission is free, with a music fee of $5 for participating tuba players. All tuba players are invited to take part.
For more information, call Barbara Salinas at 276-5705 or Jim McAllister at 276-9544.
* Later that evening, the Garden City Downtown Vision's annual Burtis Motors' Evening Christmas Parade will begin at 6 p.m.
Because of the road construction on South Main Street, parade participants who are in or being pulled by vehicles will line up at the Finney County Fairgrounds parking lot at 5 p.m. Those walking the parade route will line up at the Garden City Train Depot and will exit out onto Seventh Street to Fulton Street and then head up Main Street. All parade entrants will follow the same return route back to the fairgrounds parking lot.
Main Street from the Finney County Fairgrounds parking lot north to Hackberry Street will be darkened, with the exception of Christmas lights. The parade also includes vendors offering hot apple cider, hot chocolate, roasted nuts, popcorn and other goodies for parade watchers.
* The Salem Mennonite Choir will lead a community sing-along at "Old Tyme Christmas Caroling" in Stevens Park. The public is invited to join in the caroling or just come and listen from 6:30 to 7 p.m.
* The Salvation Army will partner with Walmart to host a "Fill the Truck" toy drive at 3101 E. Kansas Ave., that will help provide new toys and coats to local children in need.
The event, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, is open to people who would like to donate new toys and coats to children who take part in Salvation Army programs year-round. As they enter the store, Walmart shoppers will receive a list of suggested gifts to help fill The Salvation Army's collection bin. Once the bin is full, The Salvation Army will distribute the gifts to local children in need.
Also this year, Walmart and Sam's Club will once again host Salvation Army red kettles in front of their stores as part of The Salvation Army's 122nd Annual Red Kettle Campaign, which continues through Dec. 24. In 2011, Walmart and Sam's Club helped The Salvation Army raise more than $46 million nationally.
All donations made to the red kettles and "Fill the Truck" events will remain in the local community and help The Salvation Army provide food, clothing, shelter, financial assistance and other services to people in need.
* On both Saturday and Sunday, Western State Bank will be sponsoring free downtown carriage rides from 2 to 4 p.m. The rides will begin at the corner of Main and Spruce streets, just north of Stevens Park.
* On Sunday, Garden Valley Retirement Village, 1505 E. Spruce St., will host a "Sights & Sounds of Christmas" open house. Featuring live musical entertainment, the event is scheduled for 1:30 to 4 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend. For more information, call 275-5036.
* The American Legion Riders invite the public from 8 to 11 a.m. Sunday to the American Legion building, 405 S. Main St., for a community breakfast. The meal options include biscuits, gravy, bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, potatoes, French toast, coffee and orange juice.
Cost for the all-you-can-eat meal is $8 for adults, $5 for age 8 to 13 and free to children younger than 7. Immediate family members of deployed service men and women eat for free.
* The String Academy of the Plains will be holding its winter concert at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Community Congregational Church. The academy would like to invite everyone to come and celebrate the season afterward at a reception.
Other events this weekend include:
* The Sandhills Art Association Art Sale is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Garden City Downtown Vision office, 413 N. Main St.
* On Sunday, the Finney County Fairgrounds Horse Palace will host the Better Barrel Race Sanctioned Jackpot. For more information, contact Jamie Schweer at 275-1655.
* Garden City Community College Art Faculty Exhibition opens on Saturday, featuring two-dimensional works by instructor Kyle Chaput and three-dimensional creations by instructor Brian McCallum in Mercer Gallery in the west wing of the Pauline Joyce Fine Arts Building, 801 Campus Drive.
Viewing hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Admission is free. The exhibit is on view through Dec. 20 and includes a public reception from 1 to 3 p.m. Dec. 16. The exhibition also will be open Jan. 14 to 26, 2013.