- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Scottish pride

The streets of Old Town Alexandria will be all kilts and bagpipes Saturday when the Scottish Christmas Walk winds its way through town. The annual parade of Scots features dancers, pipe and drum bands and other troupes showcasing their heritage. The parade begins at the corner of Wilkes and South Pitt streets in Old Town at 10:30 a.m. 703/549-0111.

Irish pride

While Old Town goes Scottish for the day Saturday, Dumbarton Church honors the country across the North Channel, with its 20th anniversary “Celtic Christmas” concerts. This year’s concert features the Linn Barnes & Allison Hampton Celtic Consort for seven performances beginning Saturday and running through Dec. 10. Concert times are 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 4 p.m. Sunday, 7 p.m. Dec. 8, 8 p.m Dec. 9 and 4 and 8 p.m. Dec. 10. Tickets are $24 to $28. 3133 Dumbarton St. NW. 202/965-2000.



No wires, no controllers

Before Xbox and Playstation, board games were one of the main choices of entertainment for children and parents. YMCA, Northstar Games and the University of Maryland are taking families back to those days with their 2005 Holiday Game Festival on Sunday. “Taboo,” “Cranium” and “Wits & Wagers” are just some of the games that will be on hand to play. Players can also win $1,000 during hourly trivia events. The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Stamp Student Union at the University of Maryland. Admission is free. Campus and Union Drive, College Park. 301/314-3375.

Operatic Christmas

It’s the smooth sound of Andrea Bocelli’s tenor that has made him one of the most recognizable names in opera. Tonight, he returns to the MCI Center with a cast of 175 dancers and musicians for the holiday music spectacular, “A Royal Christmas.” The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and the Westminster Symphonic Choir, along with Washington’s own mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves join Mr. Bocelli on stage for the one-night-only show. The music begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $55 to $178. 601 F St., NW. 202/397-SEAT.

‘Nutcracker’ times three

There is one dance performance that is synonymous with the holiday season — “The Nutcracker.” This year, fans of the dancing toy soldiers and the sugar plum fairy have plenty of opportunities to see this classic performance. The Washington Ballet performs at the Warner Theatre tonight through Dec. 24. Tickets are $29 to $72. 202/307-SEAT. At the Kennedy Center Opera House, the American Ballet Theatre takes over for a limited run of performances beginning Wednesday and running through Dec. 11. Tickets are $47 to $112. Students of the American Dance Institute will perform a special version geared toward children on Saturday and Sunday at 1570 E. Jefferson St., Rockville. Tickets are $10 to $15. 301/984-3003.

Holidays with Handel

As with the “Nutcracker,” more than one professional company is presenting a classic holiday performance. This year Handel’s “Messiah” will be performed by both the National Philharmonic and the combined choirs of Washington National Cathedral. The National Philharmonic stages its production at the Strathmore Hall Music Center on Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $45 to $80. 202/433-4011. The Cathedral’s combined choirs also offer their rendition of “Messiah” on Saturday, with an additional performance scheduled for Sunday. Saturday’s performance begins at 7:30 p.m., while Sunday’s performance begins at 4 p.m. Tickets are $20 to $80. 202/537-5527.

La-la-la-la

Now for people looking to sing some holiday tunes on their own, Wolf Trap is once again hosting its holiday singalong at the Filene Center on Sunday. The “President’s Own” Marine Band provides the musical accompaniment. Admission is free. The singing begins at 4 p.m. 1624 Trap Road, Vienna. 703/938-2404.

Thomas Walter

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