Activities and entertainment events scheduled for this week include:
BI-LO DONATION: Through Dec. 24, customers can stop by their local Bi-Lo and pick up a $5 grocery bag of food, then drop it into a donation bin; each bag contains macaroni and cheese, rice, soup, green beans, tuna, beef ravioli and quick grits; customers can drop off nonperishable food items, too; (864) 286-2867
SANTA ON WHEELS: Children's bicycles will be collected through Dec. 16 at Master Pontiac Buick GMC, 3710 Washington Road, and Andy Jordan's Bicycle Warehouse, 527 13th St.; volunteers also are needed to deliver bikes; (706) 790-5350
AARP TAX HELP: Applications are being accepted for volunteers to help prepare federal and state income tax returns Feb. 1-April 15; initial training will be Dec. 11-15; (706) 210-3048
ORGANIZATION GRANTS: Dec. 18 application deadline; Aiken Junior Woman's Club is accepting applications from charitable organization for its annual Grants of Hope; recipients will be notified by April 15; (803) 642-6993
CHEERLEADER AUDITIONS: 7:30 p.m.; Health Central, 945 Broad St.; $20; local celebrities, Spartan personnel, cheer and dance professionals will judge; (803) 278-3351
THE GREAT CHINA ACROBATS: 7:30 p.m.; Imperial Theatre, 745 Broad St.; $10-$25; (706) 722-8341
CERAMIC SALE: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today-Friday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; tents near main entrance at Augusta State University, 2500 Walton Way; held by Mad Potter's Organization
FLAME OF HOPE AND MEMORY: 6 p.m.; Georgia Golf Hall of Fame, 1 11th St.; with Mayor Deke Copenhaver and The Crowns; candles will be lit to honor and remember those affected by Alzheimer's; free; (706) 731-9060
BLACK GOLD: 7 and 8:45 p.m. today-Friday, Imperial Theatre, 745 Broad St.; film exploring the business of coffee; (706) 722-8241, www.blackgoldmovie.com
CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING: 6 p.m.; Building 1300, Augusta Technical College, Augusta Tech Drive, 3200 Augusta Tech Drive; afterward, refreshments, caroling, face painting and visit from Santa in Building 400; (706) 771-4019
TOUR OF HOMES: 5:30-9:30 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; features six homes decorated for holidays and the Living History Park; tickets cost $15 advance, $18 day of tour, available at Jim Bush Flower Shop, Parks Pharmacy and the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce; (803) 279-6036
WHISKEY PAINTERS OF AMERICA: 5-10 p.m.; Zimmerman Gallery, 1006 Broad St.; opening reception for the holiday show and sale; (706) 774-1006
BOREALIS STRING QUARTET: 8 p.m.; Grover C. Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre, Augusta State University, 2500 Walton Way; $20 adults, $5 schoolchildren, free for ASU faculty, staff and students; no one younger than 7 admitted; (706) 790-9274
THE SCIENCE OF TOYS: 1:30 p.m. today through Dec. 23; Fort Discovery, 1 Seventh St.; special presentations on the magic, the mystery and the science of toys; free with paid general admission; (706) 821-0206
GINGERBREAD HOUSE DISPLAY: Today through Dec. 9; Augusta Museum of History rotunda, 560 Reynolds St.; featuring sugary historic buildings of the CSRA created by area chefs; each house available for silent auction to benefit the programs of the museum; free; museum hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday; (706) 722-8454
Many home fires can be prevented during the holidays, and the Augusta Red Cross has some simple tips you can follow to make sure you and your family have a safe holiday season:
- Unplug Christmas tree lights when leaving home or going to bed.
- Do not decorate metal trees with lights.
- Do not decorate trees with candles.
- Keep candles away from decorations and other combustible materials.
- Place trees away from heat sources and exits.
- Water live trees daily.
- Make sure chimneys are inspected before the holidays and cleaned if necessary.
- Keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from bedding, clothing, furniture, drapes and anything else combustible. Turn off space heaters when you leave a room and monitor children at all times when they are near space heaters.
- Don't wear loose-fitting clothing when cooking to avoid ignition by stove burners.
For more information on the Augusta Red Cross or fire prevention tips, visit www.arcaug.org or call Amanda Bennett at (706) 724-8481.
Source: American Red Cross