Things to do: Catawba County's week ahead

Catawba County residents have plenty events to choose from this week — from a "turkey toss" to gingerbread decorating, from a soapbox derby to a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony.

On Friday night, Bandys and Maiden will take the field in the third round of the high school football playoffs.

Some of the available events follow.

Tammy Wilson, public information officer for Catawba County Library, will read from her story collection, "Dining with Robert Redford," at 6:30 p.m. The event is free.

Monday, Tuesday
The Hickory Community Theatre will hold auditions for its second Firemen’s Kitchen production of the 2011-12 season, “Becky’s New Car,” Monday and Tuesday at 7 p.m. The play requires a cast of seven — three women and four men ages 18 to 50s. “Becky’s New Car” performances are Jan. 13-Feb. 4, 2012.

The 2011-12 Lenoir-Rhyne University Concert Band will perform on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the P.E. Monroe Auditorium on campus. The program is free and open to the community.

Maiden travels to Lincolnton and Bandys travels to Shelby in the third round of the high school football playoffs.

Downtown Hickory will light its Christmas tree and Mr. and Mrs. Claus will greet children Friday, beginning at 6 p.m. Hickory Mayor Rudy Wright will turn the official Christmas lights switch.

Friday, Saturday
The Green Room Community Theatre performs "Steel Magnolias" on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Old Post Office Playhouse in downtown Newton.

The Newton Parks and Recreation Department will sponsor a “Turkey Toss” horseshoe tournament on Saturday at Westside/Jaycee Park starting at 10:30 a.m. The “round-robin” tournament is open to ages 18 and older. The entry fee for two-person teams is $10. Winners will receive a 10-pound turkey and trophies courtesy of the Newton Parks and Recreation Department. Teams must register by Thursday at 5 p.m. Entry forms are available at the Newton Parks and Recreation Department at 23 South Brady Ave. in Newton.

Six Catawba schools will compete in the first-ever Western North Carolina Gravity Games Soapbox Race in downtown Lenoir, co-sponsored by Google and Appalachian State University at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. Competitors include teams from St. Stephens, Hickory and Newton-Conover high schools, and Jacobs Fork, Northview and Newton-Conover middle schools.

The Lenoir-Rhyne University Alumni Association will hold the fourth annual Gingerbread Decorating event on Saturday from 2-4 p.m. The event will take place in the Bear’s Lair Atrium on campus. The event is open to children and adults of all ages. Hot chocolate, cider, and snacks will be available. Reservations are required. Call 828-328-7171 for more information.

School-aged children are invited to a “Thankful Wreath” workshop on Saturday at Maiden Branch Library. The craft time will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The foam craft projects will involve children writing on leaves of things for which they’re thankful. Crafting materials will be provided, but space is limited. Parents should pre-register their youngsters by calling 828-428-2712.