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Weekend event picks: Return of Winterfest, holiday fun & more

It’s a long weekend, get on with your fun-having selves.

It's a long weekend, get on with your fun-having selves.

Kick off the holiday festivities with a few Thanksgiving Eve parties on Wednesday, Nov. 25. There's soul/disco dance party Jive Turkey at Trestle Inn (11th and Callowhill Streets) starting at 5 p.m. or the fabulous drag performance-fueled Pink Pub Crawl, kicking off at 9 p.m. at Tabu Lounge and Sports Bar (200 S. 12th St.). Other night-before happenings include American Sardine Bar's (1800 Federal St.) fourth anniversary party — lots of beer! — beginning at 5 p.m. and It's the Year 1993—music from that year!—at Johnny Brenda's (1201 Frankford Ave.) starting at 9 p.m.

Keep the party going by hitting the 6abc Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, Nov. 26. The route starts at 20th St. and JFK Blvd. at 8:30 a.m. and proceeds on JFK to 16th St. and then continues onto the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, finishing at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Keep your eyes peeled for A-listers like Carli Lloyd, Dionne Warwick and Son Damon, Miss New Jersey, Miss Delaware and Miss Pennsylvania, among many others. Top-notch performers like the Pennsylvania Ballet and casts of Pippin and The Sound of Music will also grace the route in addition to the many floats, marching bands, choirs and more.

It's that time of year again: Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest (101 S. Columbus Blvd.) opens for the season on Friday, Nov. 27. Opening weekend goings-on include a Star Wars-themed opening day with character skating, performances from the Arden Theater Company, face painting, crafts, DJs and more. Saturday, Nov. 28 and Sunday, Nov. 29 sees more crafts, face painting and performers. And, of course, ice-skating. Opening weekend hours are 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday.

After a preview weekend last week, the Christmas Village in LOVE Park (16th St. and JFK Blvd.) officially opens their charming booths on Thursday, Nov. 26. The traditional German open-air market features over 60 vendors selling, handmade items, clothing, jewelry, art, food and more. This weekend's hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 26, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27 and Saturday, Nov. 28 and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 29.

Ready for a mashup? Taking the classic that is "The Nutcracker" and melding it with Philadelphia history, The Rock School presents "Nutcracker 1776," a family-friendly ballet at the Merriam Theater (250 S. Broad St.) for three performances: 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27 and 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28.

Some of the most popular Disney movie scores get the on-stage treatment at the Kimmel Center (Broad and Spruce Streets) on Saturday, Nov. 28 for "Disney in Concert: Magical Music from the Movies." The Philly Pops, an orchestra and Broadway vocalists will dazzle audiences at this 3 p.m. performance.

Picks from the Inquirer's Michael Harrington

The intriguing multimedia exhibit "bet you weren't expecting another show about memory" looks at the way recollection recasts and reframes the past in works by 15 Moore College of Art & Design student artists. The show ends it run this weekend at International House (3701 Chestnut St.) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27 through Monday, Nov. 30.  

Must be the tryptophan in the Thanksgiving turkey that makes us want to go and do crazy things like engaging in combat over consumer goods at the mall before the sun comes up. Put that energy to better use: Go see a comedy show at 5:10 in the morning (or 4:35 in the afternoon or 7:20 at night). If you don't like it, don't worry, another will hit the stage immediately at the Black Friday Comedy Marathon. The show, featuring over 100 acts — with names such as Chris and Andrew Have a Time Machine, Barbara Bush Needs To Improve Their SEO, and Trees! The Musical; The Revue; The Play; The Show LIVE, performed by Mary D. Lang Elementary School — goes on (and on) at the Philly Improv Theater (2030 Sansom St.) from 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 27 to 11:55 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28 without pause.

 A founding member of the seminal 1970s space-rockers, saxophonist Nik Turner's Hawkwind bring his version of the band to life, recreating the light-show spectacle from the band's heyday. What's it like? "The extra-terrestrial, inter-galactic, orgasmic embodiment of the loving and healing vibrations, and the rocking music of the spheres, flame on, one love," it says here. The band plays at Kung Fu Necktie (1250 N. Front St.) at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27.

It's the fourth annual meeting of Penn State and Vermont in the Philadelphia College Hockey Faceoff. The Nittany Lions (7-2-3), who lead the series 2-1, feature defensemen Connor Varley (Lansdale), Kevin Kerr (Bensalem), and David Thompson (Glen Mills), forward Ricky DeRosa (Aston), and goalie Eamon McAdam (Perkasie). The Catamounts (3-8-2) have a local connection, as well, in forward Brendan Bradley (Warminster). The puck drops at the Wells Fargo Center (3601 S. Broad St.) at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 29.

In his first abstract ballet, Jewels, George Balanchine used music by Fauré ("Emeralds"), Stravinsky ("Rubies"), and Tchaikovsky ("Diamonds") to celebrate the cities of Paris, New York and St. Petersburg. A film of the Bolshoi Ballet's performance in Moscow screens at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute (824 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr) at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 29.

For more Things to Do, check out our calendar for the most up-to-date happenings.