You can shop, shop, shop 'til you drop at Christmas Carousel. This year's theme is "Gifts From Afar." This annual sale of holiday gifts benefits numerous charitable causes. It is sponsored by the Junior League of Abilene and will be held at the Abilene Civic Center, Thursday through Sunday. Preview Night, "Party Under the Palms" will take place on Thursday from 6-10 p.m. Enjoy private shopping with surprise entertainment and food by Tru Blue Catering. Advance tickets only. On Friday, the shops will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, Noon to 5 p.m. Admission: $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and free for ages 12 and younger. For more information about all Carousel events, visit www.jrleagueabilene.com.
The Historic Paramount Theatre will allow audiences a rare glimpse into the minds of talented, independent filmmakers at the 24fps International Short Film Festival, Friday and Saturday. From a field of projects submitted to the theatre (over 600 this year), 30 have been named Official Selections and will be screened for the public this weekend. Selected projects have representation from the United States, France, Canada, Norway, Italy, Brazil, Poland, Romania and the UK, and include narrative, animated and experimental genres. A professional jury will award cash prizes to the top films of the festival. "This juried competition and public exhibition is one of the most unique in the nation, showcasing award-winning films from high-profile festivals, including Sundance, Berlin, Cannes, Venice and Los Angeles," stated Barry Smoot, festival director. The films will be presented over the course of three unique programs as a part of the 24fps 2011 Jury Exhibitions. Program A, which includes 10 films from around the world (20 minutes or less) is scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m. A family-friendly, Matinee Program (10 films) screens Saturday at 2 p.m. Program B (10 films) concludes the festival that same evening at 7 p.m. Awards will follow. General admission tickets are $8. A festival pass, which allows the holder access to all three programs, is available for $15. Info: 325-676-9620.
The Grace Museum will host its monthly Tot Spot on Thursday and Friday. Tot Spot is ideal for ages 3 to 5. It will be held on Thursday at 10 a.m. and on Friday at 9:30 and 11 a.m. Reservations are required for this monthly program, which is free for museum members, while nonmembers pay only $5. Info: 325-673-4587.
Also on Thursday, Johnny Cooper will perform at the Lucky Mule Saloon with Callahan Divide. Doors open at 6 p.m. Info: 325-232-8561.
The HSU Theatre will perform "The Seafarer" in Van Ellis Theatre, Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. On the face of it, this play is simply "a fable about a struggle for redemption," as playwright Conor McPherson puts it. There's really nothing simple about McPherson's tale of four alcoholic Irishmen who gather to play cards on Christmas Eve, only to be visited by the Devil. Info: 325-670-1405.
Ever wanted to know...just how they made that? Stop by the annual "Taste of Home Cooking School" presented byTownsquare Media from 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday at the Abilene Civic Center. Browse vendor booths before the school begins. Specialist, Jamie Dunn, will demonstrate 10 recipes from the Taste of Home fall magazine at 6:30 p.m. Ticket info: 325-676-7711.
If you're looking for additional activities to keep busy, check out our full calendar at www.abilenevisitors.com. To keep connected throughout the week, follow us on Twitter @AbileneCVB or like us on Facebook (Abilene, Texas).