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Events: December

Those Christmas Lights Are Twinkling in Tempe

November 25, 2001|ELLEN MELINKOFF

During the Fantasy of Lights, which runs from Wednesday until Jan. 6, downtown Tempe, Ariz., will twinkle. There will be an outdoor ice skating rink, and on Dec. 15, 25 tons of snow will be placed downtown. Other events include a luminaria lighting and a boat parade on Tempe Town Lake. Contact Tempe Convention & Visitors Bureau, 51 W. 3rd St., Suite 105, Tempe, AZ 85281; http://www.tempecvb.com.

Massachusetts

This year's reenactment of the Boston Tea Party will take place Dec. 16, the anniversary of the 1773 event. The issue will be debated at Old South Meeting House, with costumed reenactors ready to prep visitors to participate in the spirited interchange. Then everyone will head to the Congress Street Bridge for the dumping of the tea. Contact Old South Meeting House, 310 Washington St., Boston, MA 02108; (617) 482-6439, http://www.oldsouthmeetinghouse.org.

Michigan

In Dearborn, the Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village celebrates three centuries of holiday traditions from Friday through Jan. 2. All the historic buildings are decorated in period detail. Visitors can enjoy traditional foods, walking tours, sleigh rides (weather permitting) and carolers. At cooking classes, guests make fruitcake and plum pudding. Also planned: a 640-square-foot gingerbread town. Contact Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village, 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124; (313) 271-1620, http://www.hfmgv.org.

Pennsylvania

More than a million lights sparkle at Hersheypark's Christmas Candylane, now through Jan. 1. Elaborate displays can be seen on the steam train ride. This year's dinner theater is "Christmas in Chocolateland." Other activities include strolling carolers, Santa and live reindeer and carriage rides. Hershey is 100 miles west of Philadelphia. Contact Hersheypark, 100 W. Hersheypark Drive, Hershey, PA 17033; (800) 437-7439, http://www.hersheypa.com.

Virginia

Colonial Williamsburg begins its holiday season with the Grand Illumination on Dec. 2, with fireworks and candles. (Fireworks were a typical Colonial way to celebrate holidays.) Also planned: the Fife and Drum Corps performance and 18th century entertainment on outdoor stages. On Dec. 5, Charles Dickens' great-great-grandson will present a one-man show at the Williamsburg Inn. Throughout the month, handcrafted Colonial decorations deck the halls. Contact Colonial Williamsburg, P.O. Box 1776, Williamsburg, VA 23187-1776; (800) 404-3389, http://www.colonialwilliamsburg.org.

Mexico

On Dec. 12, at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe at Tepeyac Hill, on the north side of Mexico City, the Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe draws thousands of pilgrims. It was on this site in 1531 that an Indian named Juan Diego is reputed to have seen a vision of the Virgin Mary and been given a cloak emblazoned with her image. The cloak is on display in the basilica. The day is a mix of the pious, as people approach the shrine on their knees, and the commercial (plenty of street vendors). Contact the Mexican Government Tourism Office, Mexican Consulate, 2401 W. 6th St., 5th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90057; (213) 351-2069, http://www.mexico-travel.com.

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