We've made it to Friday — but it's BLACK FRIDAY. That means shopping, lots of shopping. However, we have to wonder if COVID-19 will continue to suppress visits to stores. Technology website Pymnts.com, which tracks connected technology and payment, expects 90% of consumers to make at least one online purchase during the holidays. "Last year, nearly 68% of eCommerce shoppers used online channels because it was easier and more convenient than shopping in stores, compared to 47% who cited fear of COVID-19 infection as their reason," the website said. "Additionally, almost 48% of consumers who shopped online on Black Friday in 2020 did so because there was greater product availability online than in stores." We suggest another alternative — shop local.
ON TODAY'S THE LEAD LIVE
We're going to be joined by Justin Graham, owner of Zanzenberg Farms and the co-operator of the Kerrville Farmer's Market. We're going to be talking regularly about the market. However, the market will be closed on Friday afternoon, returning to service on Dec. 3. We're also going to have a visit from Kevin Pillow, who runs Wild Birds Unlimited in Kerrville. Pillow said they would give back a significant portion of their holiday sales from Friday through Christmas to local nature organizations. Last year, they raised more than $6,000. So, we're going to have a lot to talk about on Friday. The show starts at 9 a.m.
A NOTE ABOUT THE LEAD
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THANKSGIVING AT THE KROC
We noted Thursday that the dine-in numbers were way down for Thanksgiving dinner at the Kerrville Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center. While not as many people ventured inside, there were still plenty of people picking up meals for those all over Kerr County. We strongly suspect people are still trying to warm up to eating out in the wake of COVID-19. Another possibility is people may have just ventured out of the area for the first time. However, a snarky comment on our Instagram account about the Salvation Army revealed those opposed to the Christian charitable organization because it's training its leaders in "equity, inclusion and diversity."
However, Russian-backed news organizations, including state-run Russia Today, have pushed the message that the Salvation Army's donors are leaving.
A Google search shows some similar headlines.
The controversy has been brewing for a year after the Salvation Army committed to anti-racism work and an expansion of LGBTQ outreach.
"Racism is fundamentally incompatible with the Christian conviction that all people are made in the image of God and are equal in value," The Salvation Army wrote. "The Salvation Army believes that the world is enriched by a diversity of cultures and ethnicities."
PUT THIS ON YOUR AGENDA
"A Christmas Carol"
The Point Theater (indoor theater), Hill Country Arts Foundation, Ingram
7:30 p.m., runs through Dec. 11
No Christmas season is complete without a visit from old skinflint Ebenezer Scrooge and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future who bring about the most famous transformation in literary history. Join a small group of actors who re-create the dozens of characters populating Dickens' timeless tale of the redemptive power of Christmas. Need info? https://www.hcaf.com
ARCADIA BRINGS THE HEAT IN DECEMBER
Mike Kelliher of Arcadia Live told us about the upcoming shows at the Water Street entertainment destination. There are plenty of exciting shows coming to Arcadia in the coming weeks, including Austin's Shiny Ribs on Dec. 17. Here's a rundown of some of the acts and events coming to Arcadia in the next few days:
- Dec. 3, 7 p.m., Ian Moore and Possessed by Paul James. What Kelliher said: "Ian Moore is a super guitar player. He's got a new album out, and he's touring. Of course, our local Possessed By Paul James is opening up the show. This should be an amazing show."
- Dec. 8, 6 p.m., An Arcadia Holiday, with performances by Big Seed artists. What Kelliher said: "It's an overall holiday event where everyone is welcome to come. After the musical performances are done, there will be an adaptive performance of The Nutcracker by the Classical Ballet School here in Kerrville."
- Dec. 9, 7 p.m., Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis Holiday Shindig. What Kelliher said: "They do this performance every year. This is the first year to do this at the Arcadia. It should really be amazing. I just can't wait. We had them booked last year for this event, and, of course, things were canceled. So, we're really thrilled. Bruce is a local guy and he's spent time in Kerrville and Bandera. He's had a lot of No. 1 songs he's written for other artists."
- Dec. 11, 9:30 a.m., Santa Saturday with a showing of "Mickey's Christmas Carol." What Kelliher said: "It's to bring all of our kids out; they're going to get their pictures taken with Santa. They're going to get a goodie bag. They get to watch a short animated holiday film."
- Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m., ShinyRibs. What Kelliher said: "It's going to be a real fun show. If you've seen them at a normal event it's a really fun time. Lead singer Kevin Russell he used to be with "The Gourds." He plays a lot of funky instruments, and he's got the Shiny Soul Sisters backing him."
THINGS FOR YOUR SATURDAY CALENDAR
Saturday kicks off the holiday season with events all over the Hill Country, and here's a look at some to put on your agenda:
- About 6 p.m., Christmas Carriage rides in downtown Kerrville. Come out and get a ride and pics around the big tree — two weekends only. Adults are $10, children $5.
- The Museum of Western Art will be holding a free day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Get out and experience the world-class venue. https://www.museumofwesternart.com
- Buckhorn Lake RV Resort is playing host to a craft and vendor show from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The resort, 2885 Goat Creek Rd., says it will have the following: Handmade jewelry and soaps, quilting crafts, clothing, handmade cards and homemade holiday candy.
- Christmas in Comfort. This event features more than 100 vendors, food trucks, etc. There's also a lighted Christmas parade at 7 p.m. downtown. https://www.comfortchamber.com/events/christmas-in-comfort/
- The Schreiner University women's basketball team (2-4 on the season) will play host at noon to Howard Payne (1-3). If you haven't watched the Mountaineers this season, then you need to hold on and enjoy their frenetic pace. First-year coach Stacey Stephens predicted there would be a lot of turnovers in the early part of the season, and that's true. However, Schreiner's aggressive 1-2-1-1 full-court press causes mayhem on the court — forcing 25 turnovers per game.
TOASTMASTERS WANT YOU
We chatted with Alan Ayers of the Kerrville Toastmasters — a nonprofit organization that helps people overcome their fears of speaking in public — about an event the group is hosting on Dec. 7.
The Toastmasters are hosting an open house at noon at First Christian Church, 1900 Goat Creek Rd. They have invited Kerrville City Councilwoman Brenda Hughes and Kerrville State Hospital public affairs official Pete Calderon to speak. Ken O'Neal will be honored for his leadership efforts in the Hill Country. There is also a virtual component via Zoom, with Meeting ID: 843 0245 2935 Passcode: OpenHouse or
PETERSON HEALTH OFFERS A VACCINE CLINIC
Peterson Health is offering people a chance to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, including booster shots, starting at 7:30 a.m. on Dec. 4 at Kerrville's First United Methodist Church, 321 Thompson Dr.
Peterson said this clinic is for people 12 years and older that need their first dose, second dose, or booster, as well as the newly approved Pfizer pediatric COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11. The FDA and CDC have approved booster vaccines for anyone ages 18 or older.
If you have received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, a booster can be administered after at least six months from completing the primary COVID-19 series. If you have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you are eligible for a booster if you are 18 years or older and have received your initial vaccine at least two months prior.
The CDC said vaccines can be interchangeable as boosters. If you received one from the first series, you could receive a different vaccine as a booster. In addition, Peterson Health will be offering the newly approved COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5-11. Currently, Pfizer is the only approved vaccine for children in this age group at this time.
BE IN A STARRING ROLE
Playhouse 2000 is hosting open auditions for Sean Grennan's Now And Then, the first production in Season 2022 at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday and at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the Werlein Annex Studio. Director R Sheldon Boyce and stage manager Sarah Brooks will be looking for two men and two women, one couple to play in their late 20s and one in their 50s. Auditions will consist of "cold readings," though not from the script. No advance preparation is necessary.