Festival of Trains
TRAVERSE CITY — The Festival of Trains continues through New Year’s Day at the History Center of Traverse City, 322 Sixth St.
Festival hours are 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday with shortened hours until 4 p.m. Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Hours are noon-4 p.m. Sundays. The festival will be closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. For complete details, visit www.festivaloftrains.org or call 995-0313.
Jeff Daniels appears
TRAVERSE CITY — Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 20, for “An Evening with Jeff Daniels,” a benefit for the City Opera House.
Daniels’ performance will feature his newest album “Keep It Right Here.”
The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, at the City Opera House, 106 E. Front St. Tickets are $32 and $40, with a special Circle Ticket package for $125.
The package includes the show and a private after-party with Daniels at 7 Monks Taproom.
The price also includes two complimentary drinks, appetizers, a photo opportunity and a private meet and greet with Daniels.
A portion of each Circle Ticket will benefit the City Opera House.
For tickets or information, call 941-8082.
Global Peace Dance
BENZONIA — A unique spiritual New Year’s Eve event will be hosted at Llama Meadows Eco Farm, 1176 West St.
The event starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31, with Dances of Universal Peace-Global Peace Dance.
The meditative circle dances and songs are easy to learn and will be taught and led by Betty Demers and Jessica Noe of the Peaceful Sisters.
There also will be a guided World Peace Meditation.
A $7 to $10 donation is requested and healthy hors d’oeuvres will be served after the dance.
For details, reservations or for directions, call 882-4933 or email email@example.com.
Gift card for donors
TRAVERSE CITY — To show that not all lifesaving superheroes are on the big screen, everyone who attempts to donate blood during the holidays will receive a $10 gift card to the State and Bijou theaters from Michigan Blood.
To be part of the “Be a Star” event, potential donors can make appointments at the Traverse City Donor Center, 2575 Aero Park Dr., by calling (866) MIBLOOD or at www.miblood.org.
“Be a Star” donation times are 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 24; 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 26; and 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31, and Thursday, Jan 2.
Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are encouraged.
TRAVERSE CITY — Local resilience specialists will explore resilience in the new year on Sunday, Dec. 29, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Grand Traverse.
Speakers at the 10:30 a.m. service will discuss real actions to take in 2014 to increase the ability to endure and thrive cooperatively through times of change. Everyone is welcome and child care is provided.
The church is located at 6726 Center Road. For details, call 947-3117.
EMPIRE — The public is invited to share a conversation with Susanne Simpson, senior series producer of Masterpiece, which presents Downton Abbey, Sherlock, Ms. Selfridge and other programs on PBS.
Simpson, who is visiting family in the area, has twice been nominated for Academy Awards, has received two Emmy Awards and has produced many IMAX films including the story of Shackleton’s Antarctic adventure.
“Behind the Scenes at Masterpiece” will be held from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 26, at the Empire Township Hall on Front Street. Simpson will talk about Downton Abbey and Sherlock, both of which begin airing new seasons in January. Her appearance is sponsored by the Friends of the Glen Lake Community Library. Visit www.glenlakelibrary.net to learn more.
Cherry T Ball
TRAVERSE CITY — The fourth annual Cherry T Ball Drop will be held on New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, in downtown Traverse City.
Downtown streets will close to traffic at 4 p.m. and activities get underway at 9:30 p.m. There will be live music by Miriam Pico and the Supplementals and a DJ throughout the evening. Fireworks will be staged at Clinch Park. The illuminated cherry suspended above Cass and Front streets will drop at midnight. Attendees are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item or a suggested $3 donation for local charities.
The event will be televised on MI News 26 and UpNorth TV (Charter digital channel 73 and HD channel 789) and on UP North TV cable channel 97. The broadcast also will be streamed live on www.cherrytballdrop.com.