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Arts and Entertainment

Time to sleigh: Enjoy winter holiday traditions and create new ones with these upcoming events

  • Author: Robert Gant
  • Updated: December 6, 2019
  • Published December 4, 2019

Singers belt out the Hallelujah chorus to conclude a performance of Messiah by George Frideric Handel on Sunday afternoon, December 6, 2015, at West High School. The Anchorage Concert Chorus organized the event, begun in 1947, that annually invites singers from the community to rehearse together beginning in November as the Messiah Chorus. Anchorage Concert Chorus artistic director Grant Cochran also selects a guest conductor each year. Sunday's conductor was Russell Courter, and soloists included Luke Honeck, Martin Elred, Katherine Kosterman, Anna Cometa, Christine Keene, Kayla Johnson, Braydon Perrupatu, Stephanie Courter and Michael Smith. (Erik Hill / ADN)

Find events for everyone from resident Scrooges to Tiny Tims. There is a place for anyone to celebrate the holiday season in Anchorage this week.

Holidays brights:

Anchorage Community Concert Band and “The Sounds of Music” — The Anchorage Community Concert Band presents selections from “The Sound of Music” paired with seasonal pieces and selections from well-known composers. Free. 4-6 p.m. Sunday, Discovery Theatre, 621 West Sixth Ave. (

Mark Wolbers conducts the Anchorage Community Concert Band (Michael Dinneen photo)

“It’s A Wonderful Life” — Journey to the small town of Bedford Falls and follow George Bailey, whose dreams of escape and adventure have been quashed by family obligation and civic duty. He meets an unsuspecting fellow on Christmas Eve, his guardian angel who attempts to save him from despair and remind him that this has been, after all, a wonderful life. $8-$14. 7-9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday, APU Grant Hall, 4101 University Drive. (

“The Nutcracker” — Based on E.T.A. Hoffman’s holiday tale, Anchorage Classical Ballet Academy will be joined by international guest artists as they dance to Tchaikovsky’s famous score. New sets and costumes with local dancers give this “Nutcracker” a local twist. $34-$44. 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Discovery Theatre, 621 West Sixth Ave. (

Hiland Mountain Women’s Orchestra holiday concert — The orchestra of Hiland Mountain Correctional Center will present a concert featuring music from Bach to holiday classics. This event will feature harpist Megan Bledsoe Ward. Note: concertgoers must be precleared to attend by submitting their driver’s license number. Tickets $30 at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, 9101 Hesterberg Rd, Eagle River. (

Spc. Charles Moncayo rocks the saxophone as the 9th Army Band of Ft. Wainwright performs a Star Wars encore to their holiday concert presented Friday evening, December 11, 2015, at Community Covenant Church in Eagle River. The show featured Christmas classics as well as the encore, with numerous instrumental and vocal solos. Chief Warrant Officer Mike Krzmarzick led the group, with narration by 1st Sgt. Mike Plachinski. (Erik Hill / ADN)

73rd annual community “Messiah” — The Anchorage Concert Chorus will present Handel’s “Messiah,” an Anchorage tradition since 1947. The concert will be conducted by Bruce Wood featuring local soloists, a chorus of over 150 members and an orchestra. $15-$18. 2 p.m. Sunday, West High Auditorium, 1700 Hillcrest Drive. (

9th Army Band Holiday Concert — This performance by the “Arctic Warrior” musical soldiers will feature the jazz band, rock band, concert bands and a special guest. Free. 7 p.m. Tuesday, Discovery Theatre, 621 West Sixth Ave. (

Wrestlers leap into the air during an Alaska Pro Wrestling match at the Muldoon Boys & Girls Club, March 30, 2013. (Loren Holmes / ADN)

Tired of all the holiday madness? Take a break with these events:

Anchorage International Film Festival — There will be over 30 screenings across Anchorage for Alaska premiere film fest, from features and documentaries to local productions and animated shorts. Friday Dec. 6 through Saturday Dec. 14 at various locations. See for program details.

Wrestle Pro Alaska — Relieve holiday stress by watching the first ladder match in Alaska wrestling history. This event will feature returning WrestlePro stars along with Bret “the Hitman" Hart. $25-$65. 7 p.m. Saturday, Sullivan Arena, 1600 Gambell St. (

Rice Pounding Festival — This annual celebration hosted by the Japan Alaska Association will feature traditional New Year events such as Hanetsuki, mochi eating and rice pounding. Free. 1-4 p.m. Sunday, 4807 Northwood Drive (

“Sleeping Beauty” — Storyteller David Gonzalez returns to tell the classic fairy tale “Sleeping Beauty.” Rhymes will meld with multimedia images and live music including Bach’s “Goldberg Variations.” $25-$34. 2-3:30 p.m. Saturday, Atwood Concert Hall, 621 West Sixth Ave. (