The week ahead: Tacoma Symphony Messiah, variety show, Bonsai Solstice, Sasquatch Saturday and more happenings

Mark O’Connor’s “Appalachian Christmas” will play at The Moore Theater Saturday.
Mark O’Connor’s “Appalachian Christmas” will play at The Moore Theater Saturday. Courtesy


Solstice at the Pacific Bonsai Museum

Come and explore the Pacific Bonsai Museum in the beauty and mystery of candlelight at the annual A Bonsai Solstice from 4-7 p.m. Sunday. Enjoy a cup of hot cocoa, bring your own flashlight for a night of family fun. It is at the museum, 2515 S. 336th St., Federal Way, and is free to the public. For more information, go to pacificbonsaimuseum.org/events/a-bonsai-solstice.

Friday (Dec. 18)

Tacoma Symphony performs Handel’s ‘Messiah’

The Tacoma Symphony and Chorus is performing the much-beloved Handel’s ‘Messiah,’ directed by chorus director Geoffrey Boers. Join in the tradition of this classic piece at the 7:30 p.m. concert Friday (Dec. 18) at St. Charles Borromeo Church, 7112 S. 12 St., Tacoma. Tickets are $25 and $45, and are available at 253-591-5894 or broadwaycenter.org.

Friday (Dec. 18)

Speakers to discuss Civil War’s impact

Historian, professors and others will speak about the Civil War and its impact on the nation as the nation’s looks back on the 150th anniversary of the war’s end. Supporting the program are Puget Sound Civil War Round Table, Washington Civil War Association, Fort Steilacoom and Tacoma historical societies, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Buffalo Soldier’s Museum, Pierce County Black Collective, Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association and NAACP. The event will run from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the Washington State History Museum, 1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma. Admission is free. pscwrt.org.


Hot chocolate, chowder and marine life

Celebrate the winter solstice and nature at the South Sound Estuary Association’s “Turn of the Tides Festival.” The family-friendly event will educate and entertain with environmental education groups, storytelling by Gene Tabagan, local artist-created marine-themed items for sale, and hot chowder and cocoa. Sponsored by the Port of Olympia, it is free to the public. Head out to the South Sound Estuarium, 309 State Ave. NE, Olympia from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.


Guns, knives and more at the Tacoma Dome

Wes Knodel is staging his Gun and Knife Show at the Tacoma Dome this weekend. With a mission to bring like-minded buyers, collectors and sellers together, the show hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $10 per day, free to children 12 and younger. No membership is required and there is free parking. For admission rules and more information, go to wesknodelgunshows.com.


A secular solstice at the Seattle Center

Join in an evening of songs, stories, laughter and light at the Seattle Secular Solstice celebration at the Seattle Center Armory Loft 3. The celebration will move, thematically, from light to dark to light again with energy, facing painful issues and renewing with hope. It will being at 4:19 p.m. Saturday, with tickets at set-your-own-price. A donation of $15 is suggested. Go to bit.ly/1Nqih1S.


Sasquatch Saturday at the Market

Explore the iconic Pike Place Market in Seattle and treat the kids to Sasquatch Saturday from 1-4 p.m. The free events includes a cooking demonstration with handmade chocolate truffles, the Sasquatch photo booth and live music performed by the Roosevelt High School Jazz Quartet. It’s all happening in the market’s Atrium Saturday. For more information, go to bit.ly/1T2eF7C.


An Appalachian Christmas at The Moore Theatre

Mark O’Connor is a product of America’s aural folk tradition as well as classical music. He is bringing his show, ‘An Appalachian Christmas,’ to The Moore Theatre, 1932 Second St., Seattle. With a mixture of Christmas carols and traditional American music, the Grammy Award-winning fiddler will share songs inspired by the hills and hollows of Appalachia. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show Saturday are $42.50 and $52.50. Get yours at 877-784-4849 or stgpresents.org.