Christmas is right around the corner, but this week's festive performances and volunteer opportunities will offer plenty of holiday cheer before Santa comes to town.
The Sounds of the Holidays benefit concert -- featuring the Coast Big Band and more than 80 performers -- is back for its 27th year at the Saenger Theatre in Biloxi at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Local dance companies, choirs, singers and more will come together to celebrate the season and to raise money for the American Heart Association through a variety of holiday performances. General admission tickets are $25 for adults and $19 for students and children ages 12 and younger. VIP seating is available for $50. Details/tickets: 604-5318.
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Through Dec. 27, families can still see Santa & Friends on Ice at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi. Everyone's favorite holiday characters will make an appearance while performing modern ice skating routines to Christmas classics like "Jingle Bell Rock," "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and many others. Adults and children alike will delight in each show's indoor snowfall. Performances begin at 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and at 3 and 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Details/tickets: 888-566-7469.
In honor of the holiday season, Shepherd of the Gulf is hosting Campers' Christmas, an opportunity to give gifts and necessities to the homeless in South Mississippi. Shepherd of the Gulf is seeking donated gift bags to distribute to the campers or tax-deductible donations to help purchase supplies. Suggested items for gift bags include: gloves, wool or knit hats, socks, flashlights, batteries, bus passes, cordless shavers, batteries, packaged foods, gift cards to fast food restaurants, cologne, perfume, hygiene supplies, nuts, fruits and the like. If donating gift bags, please attach a note stating whether the gift is for a man or a woman.
Gift bags can be dropped off at Liberty Coffee House, 1270 28th St., Gulfport, from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and monetary donations can be mailed to Shepherd of the Gulf, P.O. Box 1000, Gulfport, Ms. 39501. Monetary donations can also be made to Shepherd of the Gulf at any Hancock Bank location.
Gift bag distribution will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday at Westside Park in Gulfport and at 1 p.m. Sunday at Hiller Park in Biloxi. Other camp sites will be delivered to following the main events. Volunteers are welcome to help at the parks and on the additional deliveries. Details: 229-8980, 249-2339 or 954-695-5764.