2. Spectacular strings: The Johnson City Symphony Orchestra will be showcasing local student musicians with a special concert on Saturday at Seeger Chapel on Milligan College’s main campus in Elizabethton. Eighty-two Johnson City students will share the stage with the symphony’s string players. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $35 general admission and $10 for students. Veterans are invited to attend free of charge.
3. Christmas Connection: Get crafty with early Christmas shopping by attending the 39th annual Christmas Connection at the Kingsport Civic Auditorium, 1550 Fort Henry Drive, through the weekend. The market opens Friday through Sunday and will feature holiday wreaths, floral arrangements, country crafts, Christmas ornaments, pottery, stained glass, baked goods, candles and more through dozens of the region’s best arts and crafts vendors. The craft fair is open from noon to 7 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. —5 p.m. on Saturday and noon - 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free.
4. Celebrate the (prehistoric) past: The Gray Fossil Site and Museum, 1212 Suncrest Drive, is celebrating National Fossil Day with a special celebration Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. featuring the site’s paleontologists and several fossil-friendly activities for kids and families. Learn how paleontologists use 3D scanning to dig up the past and learn more about what makes the Gray Fossil Site special. Admission is $10 for adults and children 4-up.
5. Superheroes needed: Someone call Quicksilver and The Flash for the inaugural Shop With a Cop Superhero 5K Saturday on East Tennessee State University’s main campus in Johnson City. The race and Family Fun Run will generate proceeds toward the city’s annual Shop With a Cop program, which treats area children to dinner and a shopping spree with an area police officer. Online registration closes tonight at 9 p.m. and can be completed at thegoosechase.org/shop-with-a-cop-5k for $30 per entrant and $20 for participants 10 and younger. Package pickup is Saturday 7:30-8:30 a.m. at the Quad, outside of Brooks Gym at ETSU’s main campus. Don’t forget your cape!
6. A note-worthy concert: If you’re looking for a jazzy evening, the Tri-Cities Jazz Orchestra’s got you covered. The 17-piece band will be performing a free concert at the Regional Center for Performing Arts Theatre at Northeast State Community College’s main campus in Blountville Monday beginning at 7 p.m. The orchestra will take audiences on a jazz journey from the big band era to modern jazz with works from jazz greats like Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, Buddy Rich and more.
7. Old Time Yule: Get an early start on old Christmas traditions at the historic Miller Farmstead at Roan Mountain State Park, 527 TN-143, Saturday from 1-3 p.m. The old-time Christmas celebration will allow visitors to step back in time to experience how Christmas was celebrated with traditional music, decorations and treats. The event is free and open to the public.
8. “Tuna Christmas”: It’s Christmas in Texas in the hilarious sequel to “Greater Tuna” presented by the Kingsport Theatre Guild at Taylored Venue & Events, 115 Shelby St., in Kingsport. The comedy opens this weekend with showings Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 with the exception of the Saturday 7:30 p.m. performance, which includes dinner that begins at 6 p.m., for $25 per ticket.
9. Get caught in a dream: What do you find at the crossroads of rock ‘n’ roll and dreamy psychedelia? You get Angela Perley & the Howlin’ Moons, who are stopping by The Willow Tree Coffeehouse and Music Room, 216 E. Main St., Johnson City, Friday at 8 p.m. on one of the 100 shows they tackle each year. With music that draws inspiration from David Gilmour, Tom Petty, Led Zeppelin and Lucinda Williams, the foursome carves out their own brand of “atmospheric, aggressive Americana.” Tickets to the show are $10 and available at The Willow Tree.
10. By the river: If it’s still too early to start celebrating Christmas, say goodbye to summer with one more gathering by the Nolichucky River the Nolichucky Gorge Campground, 1 Jones Branch Road, Erwin this weekend. Reservations are required for assigned campsites with full hook-up sites for $40 per night, or $12 per person 13-up at “The Pines” with a $5 fee for electric. Call 743-8876 for more information.