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More picks Dec. 16-22 

CHILDREN OF EDEN: Family friendly production continues nightly at the Arkanas Repertory Theatre.
  • CHILDREN OF EDEN: Family friendly production continues nightly at the Arkanas Repertory Theatre.
Come see Santa Santa Claus will be visiting the River Market on Saturday, Dec. 18, to hear everyone’s last-minute Christmas wishes and pass out candy canes. You’ll find Santa at the east end dining area of the Market Hall from noon to 3 p.m., and he’ll gladly pose for pictures. Children can also enjoy rides on the Christmas carousel under the East Pavilion Saturday and through the holiday season. The newly completed Sculpture Plaza on the north side of the nearby Museum Center is also another feature to check out. It’s the start of a path that includes six new sculptures and a children’s tile wall lit up with hundreds of holiday lights. The Farmers’ Market and the Art in the Market craft vendors will also be set up Tuesday, Friday and Saturday up until Christmas from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Salute the general/author Tommy Franks, the four-star general and author of the book “American Soldier,” will appear at Books-a-Million in Lakewood Village at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 18. Franks, who was head of the United States Central Command from July 2000 through July 2003, made history by leading American and Coalition in Afghanistan and Iraq. In “American Soldier,” Franks retraces his journey from his boyhood in small-town Oklahoma and Texas through a lifetime of military service, including his days as an artillery soldier in Vietnam, where he was wounded three times. He also offers the an insider’s account of the war on terrorism and covert diplomacy. Frank’s book lists for $27.95. Line tickets will be distributed at 9 a.m. Saturday. No photographer will be permitted. Call 771-7581 for more information. Bonnies meet UALR One of the more glamorous names to venture into Alltel Arena will arrive Friday, Dec. 17, when the UALR Trojans play host to St. Bonaventure Bonnies of the Atlantic 10 Conference in men’s college basketball. Game time is 7 p.m. For tickets, call the UALR ticket office at 569-8257 or the arena box office at 975-9000. UALR is home again on Monday, Dec. 20, meeting McNeese State at Alltel. ‘Play It Again’ with top cover acts Contribute a musical instrument or a donation to “Play It Again, Arkansas” and hear some of the best cover bands in Central Arkansas on Wednesday, Dec. 22, at Juanita’s Cantina Ballroom. Hornucopia will feature the GroanUps, Paula Montgomery-Reed and the Bona Fide Band, the Rockets and Leavenworth on the same stage from 7 p.m. to midnight, with doors opening at 6 p.m. Admission is either a music instrument or $15. Call 377-3366 or visit www.playitagain.org for more information. “Play it Again, Arkansas” is a program sponsored by the state that contributes instruments to music programs in schools. ‘Nutcracker’ on ice The holiday classic “The Nutcracker” will be performed on ice at the Arkansas Skatium on Saturday, Dec. 18. Local ice skaters will do a variety of moves to the holiday ballet music in costumes from “The Nutcracker.” Showtime is 4 p.m. and admission is $5. Call 227-4333. The Arkansas Skatium is at 1311 Bowman Road. Starkz leads modern rock show Modern rock lovers will be treated to a concert featuring four Arkansas bands at the Clear Channel Metroplex on Friday, Dec. 17. Go Fast, Plexus, Further Down and headliner Starkz will rock the venue at Colonel Glenn Road and Interstate 430 from 7 p.m. to midnight. Fort Smith-based Starkz has is being courted by Atlantic Records and plans a national CD release in early 2005, according to Butch Stone, the group’s manager. Starkz has sold out its last seven shows in Little Rock, all at Juanita’s Cantina Ballroom. Since July the group has been devoting its time to writing new songs for its upcoming release and plans several new songs in its 90-minute set, Stone said. Jonesboro-based Further Down, which was a semifinalist in the 2004 Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase, has been in the studio recently working with producer Pete Matthews of Ardent Studios. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 and will be on sale beginning at 4 p.m. at the venue.
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