FORT GORDON CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL: A Christmas tree lighting and Christmas festival; 5 p.m. today, Barton Field Outdoor Theater, Fort Gordon; visit by Santa Claus, Chris Kringle Mart, hay rides, refreshments, musical entertainment and bonfire; open to the public; (706) 791-6433

GIRLS NIGHT OUT AND HANGIN' WITH THE FELLAS : Part of World AIDS Day; 6:30 p.m. today, Macedonia Baptist Church, 1828 Wrightsboro Road; Ken Bonds Jr. (706) 294-9414, Maria Fickling (706) 231-1826,

TROY UNIVERSITY WINTER COMMENCEMENT: Open to the public; 6 p.m. Friday, First Baptist Church of Augusta, 3500 Walton Way Extension; 130 degrees, from associate to graduate, to be conferred; family and friends encouraged to attend; Shatareia Stokes (706) 210-3800

'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE LIGHTED BOAT PARADE: 6:30 p.m. Friday, Savannah River; afterward shops and restaurants staying open until 10 p.m. for First Friday

RED RIBBON BALL: Fifth annual fundraiser for St. Stephen's Ministry; live music, catered dining, live charity raffle with multiple drawings -- $5 per raffle ticket; 7 p.m. Friday, Marion Hatcher Center, 519 Greene St.; $35 per person, $330 table of eight, reservations preferred; tax-deductible contributions to St. Stephen's available to those not able to attend event; (706) 722-7092

FIRST FRIDAY DECEMBER 2010: Pyroteque -- group dancing and performing with fire 8-10 p.m., corner of 11th and Broad streets; Soul City Sirens -- Augusta's roller derby gals "bring it" to Broad Street, mock roller derby bout corner of 11th and Broad streets; Le Chat Noir -- Schrodinger's Cat improv company 8 p.m., doors open at 7 p.m., sell out fast so arrive early, corner of Eighth and Ellis streets; Bar on Broad -- Stop in for tunes by Kenny Ray and $2 shot specials all night, 917 Broad St.; Vintage Ooollee -- find the jingle bells as part of the Jingle Bell Jaunt and take advantage of 15 percent off on most items 5-8 p.m., 1121 Broad St.; Gallery on the Row -- featuring works by Margaret Ann Smith 5-9 p.m., 1016 Broad St.; Odd Fellows Gallery -- Augusta's newest art gallery, featuring art of Karen Luke 5-8 p.m., Eighth Street; Zimmerman Gallery -- featuring Randy Barr demonstrating his Carolina Snowflakes 5-8 p.m., 1006 Broad St.; Frameworks and Tire City Potters -- exhibits and featured works 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., 210B 10th St.; Sky City -- 80s Night and art exhibit by Brian McGrath titled What it Do 8 p.m., 1157 Broad St.; Casa Blanca Cafe -- holding a drawing for a perfect holiday dessert to complement your Christmas dinner 5-10 p.m., 936 Broad St.

HIGH SCHOOL PLACEMENT EXAM AND PARENT FORUM: Students who earn a composite score of 98 or 99 on a test administered in December may receive $1,500 four-year renewable scholarships; 8:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday, 12:30-3:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, or 8:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 5, Aquinas High School; $20 fee to take test; public school students may apply for the GRACE Scholarship; parents invited to attend the parent forum during the first hour of the test session; question-and-answer session follows; Kelli Strickland (706) 736-5516

BRUNCH WITH SANTA: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History; free for children and adults; brunch and singing Christmas songs; Christine Miller-Betts (706) 724-3576

WORLD AIDS DAY WALK: Part of World AIDS Day; 10 a.m. Saturday, Paine College; Ken Bonds Jr. (706) 294-9414, Maria Fickling (706) 231-1826,

HOLIDAY MARKET: Noon Saturday, Augusta Common; more than 40 vendors

MISS AUGUSTA FANTASY PARADE: 3 p.m. Saturday, Broad Street

HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES: Following parade Saturday, Augusta Common; stop at North Pole for children to write letters to Santa; holiday ornament making and cookie decorating; Cutno School of Dance, Curtis Baptist Church Choir and Tabernacle Baptist Church Choir performing on the main stage; booths for Golden Harvest Food Bank, Toys for Tots and Salvation Army, bring canned goods, coats and unwrapped unopened toys; Mayor Deke Copenhaver officially throws switch for downtown Christmas lights 6:25 p.m., followed by fireworks

A HOLIDAY CONCERT: Presented by Augusta Children's Chorale and Lyra Vivace Chamber Orchestra; 4 p.m. Sunday, Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 3185 Wheeler Road; $10 per person, $20 per family; tickets by phone, (706) 826-4718, or through PayPal,

RUBE GOLDBERG DAY: Aquinas High School physics competition; 3 p.m. Monday, Aquinas High School, Grand Dining Hall; Kelli Strickland (706) 736-5516

DECK THE HALLS WITH HISTORIC AUGUSTA: Highlighting the colors, smells and spirit of the holiday season; 10:30 a.m. or 2 p.m. Wednesday, Joseph R. Lamar Boyhood Home, 415 Seventh St.; create your own fresh evergreen arrangement with Greg Boulus of Charleston Street Fine Flowers and Events; $30 per person, proceeds benefit Historic Augusta; tickets available at Historic Augusta, 415 Seventh St., or Charleston Street Fine Flowers and Events, 449 Highland Ave.; bring a pair of clippers; Historic Augusta (706) 724-0436,

Flu Shots: Annual flu shot offered by East Central Health District and Richmond County Health Department; 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, 950 Laney-Walker Blvd. and 2420 Windsor Spring Road; flu shots can be filed with Medicare, Medicaid and State Health Benefit Plan (Cigna-GA and United Healthcare-GA); for uninsured, flu shot $25, flu mist $35; Laney-Walker (706) 721-5800, Windsor Spring (706) 790-0661


BATTLE OF THE BELLS: CHURCH YOUTH GROUP COMPETITION: Held by Salvation Army of Augusta; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, many locations; youth groups manning kettles and ringing bells for the day; the group that raises the most money wins; to enter a church youth group call Beth Bargeron, (706) 922-0170, by Thursday, Dec. 9; make donations in person or at

SIEGE OF AUGUSTA: Gaming convention including miniature battles and other types of games including role playing, fantasy, science fiction; live action role playing not included because of space limitations; 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 21, through 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 23, Doubletree Hotel, 2651 Perimeter Parkway; hosts needed for game events, registration to be a host required by Jan. 8; visit Web site for event registration forms and information;

MINERAL AND FOSSIL SHOW: Displays of items from around the world, demonstrations of lapidary arts, gemstones, precious and everyday gold and silver jewelry, mineral specimens and decorative items; free parking; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 11 and 12, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 13, Julian Smith Casino; $3, ages 15 and under free; 23rd annual show sponsored by Aiken-Augusta Gem, Mineral and Fossil Society and Augusta Gem and Mineral Society; Shellie (803) 439-2625



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