The weekend before Thanksgiving marks the start of several holiday events and activities around the Wichita area. Here are four to take in this weekend:
1) The Bradley Fair Christmas Tree Lighting has become a popular holiday event, featuring the ceremonial lighting of a 35-foot-tall tree and a visit from Santa Claus. It's at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Bradley Fair shopping center, 21st at Rock Road. Admission is free and donations go to Ronald McDonald House. After the tree lighting, visitors may take free horse-drawn carriage rides until 10 p.m. They'll be offered from 6 to 10 p.m. each Friday and Saturday through Dec. 19. For more information, call 316-630-9990.
2) Towne East Square is offering photos with Santa (prices vary) during mall hours beginning Saturday and going through Dec. 24. For more information, call 316-686-4849.
3) Attend Saturday's preview party for Lights on the Lake and benefit Heartspring while you're at it. Tickets for the party are $50 each and include food and drink, live entertainment, a silent auction and the lighting of thousands of holiday lights and displays that make up Lights on the Lake. It starts at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Heartspring Conference Center, 8700 E. 29th St. North. The Lights on the Lake drive-through display will be open from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 6 to 10 p.m. Fridays through Sunday from Nov. 26 to Dec. 25. Photos with Santa ($5 donation) and refreshments will be available from 6 to 9 p.m. Fridays through Sundays during that period. Admission to Lights on the Lake is free but donations are encouraged. For more information, call 316-634-8761 or go to www.lightsonthelake.org.
3) Pianist and songwriter Jim Brickman will sing from his newest CD, "Beautiful World," and deliver some holiday tunes when he comes to Century II Concert Hall Monday. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $39 and $49 at www.wichitatix.com or by calling 316-219-4TIX. For more information, call 316-264-9121.