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Christmas activities highlight events this week in Catawba County.
Conover will light its tree downtown, Hickory will march its annual parade, an ensemble will sing Christmas tunes in Hickory and Newton senior adults will dance to a variety of music.
A chili and pottery fundraiser, bridge-building contest and several community information sessions also dot the schedule.
Read on for more details and pick up copies of The Observer News Enterprise throughout the week at county newsstands for the latest on events, breaking news, daily comics, opinions and more.
Catawba Valley Community College's admissions office invites private school parents and home school administrators of rising juniors and seniors to an information session at 3:30 p.m. to learn more about admission requirements for the N.C. Career & College Promise Program.
The session will be in CVCC's Cuyler Dunbar Building in room 582.
Conover's annual Christmas in the Park will be at 6:30 p.m. in the downtown park.
Choirs from Lyle Creek Elementary, Conover School and Shuford Elementary will sing a variety of festive Christmas carols. That will be followed by the annual â€śLighting of the Treeâ€ť and Santa Claus will arrive on a Conover Fire engine.
Free coffee and cider will be provided by the Conover Fire Department.
The Catawba County Genealogical Society will sponsor a special Christmas event on Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. in the Catawba County Library in Newton. Refreshments will be served downstairs in the Rhodes Room.
Catawba Valley Behavioral Connections, a nonprofit agency that provides mental health and developmental disabilities services in Catawba and Burke counties, will hold a Chili Pottery fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Trinity Reformed United Church of Christ in Conover.
The cost is $15 and includes homemade chili and a choice of pottery.
The Newton Parks & Recreation Department is sponsoring its annual Senior Citizens Christmas Dance for those age 55 and older from 7-10 p.m. on the lower level of the Newton Recreation Department.
Tickets will be $8 at the door; no advance tickets will be sold.
Music will be performed by "Midnight Flyers," a variety band.
For more information, contact the Newton Recreation Department at 828-695-4317, or visit www.newtonnc.gov.
Sipe's Orchard Home's Houston Transitional Living Center, an organization that works to help homeless young people ages 16-21, will hold a holiday open house and program presentation from 5-7 p.m.
The presentation will last about 15 minutes and begin about 5:45 p.m. to R.S.V.P., call 828-256-5056, extension 324.
The Hickory Jaycees will present their annual Holiday Parade at 4 p.m. in downtown Hickory.
The parade will feature area high school bands, fire trucks, dance groups, beauty queens and Santa Claus. The parade route will go through downtown Hickory.
Catawba Science Center in Hickory will hold a bridge-building contest Saturday.
The goal will be to build a bridge that can withstand the greatest amount of weight, which will be measured using a small bucket filled with varying amounts of sand. Prizes will be awarded to the top two winners.
The cost to participate is $3 for center members and $5 for non-members. Check-in begins at noon.
For more information or to register, call 828-322-8169.
Carolina Moonlighters barbershop chorus and Hickory High Ensemble will present a Christmas concert Sunday at 3 p.m. at the SALT Block auditorium in Hickory.
Tickets will be available at the door or by calling 828-322-7997, 828-327-2490 or 828-256-6009.