December is a month that conjures up many things: wrapped gifts, twinkling lights, brightly colored decorations – and, of course, holiday music. But along with listening to beloved renditions of classic carols at home (and at the mall) we recommend also checking out some of these great music festivals.
Channel 93.3’s Not So Silent Night (12/2/2016) in Denver, Colorado
Brought to you by one of Denver’s most popular radio stations, this annual rock festival always draws a crowd. This year’s lineup features Empire of the Sun, Kaleo, The Strumbellas, JRJR, and 888 at the giant 1st Bank Center concert hall. Along with hours of incredible live music, the festival offers a beer garden and other concessions.
Frost Fest (12/2/2016 – 12/3/2016) in Palestine, Texas
After three successful years, the Frost Fest returns to charming Palestine, Texas. This year’s theme will center on the turn of the century, with décor and costumes to match. Attendees may enjoy snowman building, an open-air holiday film festival, an historical tour of homes, hot cocoa and cookies, games, food trucks, and the Freeze Your Buns 5k run. There will also be lots of live music and entertainment, and the piece de resistance for the little ones: a 110-foot snow hill for sledding.
Astoria Starving Artist Faire (12/2/2016 – 12/4/2016) in Astoria, Oregon
Like its tongue-in-cheek name indicates, the Starving Artist Faire serves to showcase the work of local artisans. Attendees (there will likely be 500 – 700) may browse over fifty vendors selling arts and crafts, and food. Meanwhile, live music by local performers will lend a lovely soundtrack to the biggest local event of the season. If you’re coming with children, know that Santa will be onsite both Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.
Humboldt Artisans Crafts and Music Festival (12/2/2016 – 12/4/2016) in Eureka, California
Now in its 36th year, this festival is always held over the first weekend of December – and it keeps getting bigger and better. This year attendees can expect over 130 booths of handmade gifts by talented artisans and craftspeople from around the Pacific Northwest, live music by local bands, and delicious food. Admission is just $3, and kids and seniors get in free.
Winter Block Party (12/3/2016) in Lancaster, South Carolina
Lancaster Performing Arts is swapping its usual venue for the streets of downtown Lancaster, where you’ll find a stage set up during the Red Rose Holiday Tour. The free block party begins at 10 a.m. and goes till sundown. Plan to spend an entire day shopping for holiday gifts, sampling tasty local foods, and enjoying the live music and festive atmosphere.
Bluegrass Christmas in the Smokies (12/7/2016 – 12/10/2016) in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
The Ramada Inn & Smoky Mountain Convention Center is the venue for this fun-filled festival. The lineup features Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Paul Williams, The Grascals, SIDELINE, Bluegrass Mountaineers, Garrett Newton Band, and so many others. If you’re a fan of bluegrass, you should definitely try to make it to this event.
NewSong Music (12/10/2016) in New York, New York
The NewSong Music showcase and competition is one of the country’s premier events for songwriters, created to identify and recognize excellence in songwriting. It’s a day that twelve songwriters have been waiting and working a long while for; they will compete as finalists and perform at world-renowned Lincoln Center – and no matter who wins, it’s sure to be a great time for all.
Winter Wonderland Festival (12/17/2016 – 12/18/2016) in Fort Valley, Georgia
Georgia residents, consider this your all-in-one wintertime festival. It features an ice skating rink, numerous attractions for kids of all ages (including those who are technically no longer kids), rids, food, arts and crafts, and great live music. The event promises to be fun for the whole family, and a fantastic way to embrace the holiday spirit. You won’t want to miss the Jumbo Tubing Slide, Bungee Jumping or SnowGlobe Live (a human-sized snowglobe.) Yes, Santa Claus will be there as well.