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Things to do in Missoula: Dec 6-12

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Back again with this week's "Things to Do" article for Missoula.

Don't miss the special Festival of Lights parade tomorrow night culminating in the lighting of the town Christmas tree. Festivities kick off at 6:30 p.m. downtown. Tonight is First Friday in Missoula with numerous downtown businesses hosting local artists - it's a great time to mingle with your community and support local artists and businesses.

On Saturday, don't miss the Holiday Craft fair at Sentinel High School in the Auxiliary Gym from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Looking ahead to next Friday, don't miss opening night of MCT's production of Willy Wonka, which runs through December 22.

Here are a few suggestions of things to do this weekend and next week. Our very own University of Montana Grizzlies play host to Coastal Carolina in the playoffs on Saturday. In addition, don't miss all the great NFL action this weekend. Catch all the college, NFL and NBA action at my favorite sports bar, Hooters. Looking forward to the Dolphins-Steelers game on Sunday, especially after that awesome victory over the hated Jets last Sunday . Meet me there!

Reading is always a great escape, and we have four great local bookstores: Fact & Fiction, located at 200 N. Higgins and in the University Center; The Book Exchange, located at 2335 Brooks Street; Shakespere & Co. Booksellers, located at 1035 S. Third Street W and Bird's Nest Books, located at 217 N. Higgins. Take some time and enjoy these jewels of Missoula, where you can catch up on some great reads and do some shopping. On Friday, stop in at Fact and Fiction for your very own 2014 NBC Weather Calendar which the KECI weather dream team will be happy to sign from 5 to 7 p.m. In addition, Walter Kim will visit UM for a reading at the Dell Brown Room of Turner Hall at 7 p.m. Then on Saturday, Laura Budds signs her kids' book, Have You Ever Seen a Bear with a Purple Smile? at Fat and Fiction at 10 a.m., and Gwen Florio reads from her book Montana at Shakespeare and Co at 11 a.m. On Tuesday, Roberta Zenker reads from her memoir, TransMontana, a Memoir of Transformation in Body, Mind & Spirit at Shakespeare and Co. at 7 p.m.

It's never a bad time to catch a movie, and this weekend is no exception. This weekend at the Carmike 12 on Mullan, catch 12 Years a Slave at 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.; Delivery Man at 1:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.; Fre Birds at 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.; Frozen at 1:15 p.m., 1:40 p.m., 4:15 p.m., 4:40 p.m., 7:15 p.m., 7:40 p.m., 9:45 p.m. and 10 p.m. and in 3D at 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.; Jackass presents Bad Grandpa at 6:30 p.m. and 9p.m.; Last Vegas at 1:15 p.m., 4:15 p.m., 7:15 p.m. and 9:45 p.m.; Out of the Furnace at 1:15 p.m., 4:15 p.m., 7:15 p.m. and 10 p.m.; Silent Night, Deadly Night at 11 p.m.; The Hunger Games: Catching Fire at 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8:45 p.m., 9:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. and Thor: The Dark World at 1:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 10 p.m. Over at the Carmike 6 on South Reserve, catch About Time at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.; Delivery Man at 7:15 p.m. and 10 p.m.; Frozen at 7 p.m. and in 3D at 9:30 p.m.; Homefront at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.; The Hunger Games: Catching Fire at 7:15 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. and Thor: The Dark World at 7:15 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. In addition, don't miss the great documentaries at the Top Hat every Monday night. This week's showing is Joy Division at 7:30 p.m. Finally, don't miss episodes 14 and 15 of Twin Peaks at The Roxy this Monday. The Roxy will run two episodes each week until February 10.

For theater lovers, check out Angels in America: Millennium Approaches at the Montana Theatre in the PARTV Center which concludes its run with shows on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. each night. In addition, don't miss the UM School of Theatre and Dance' Dance Up Close in the Masquer Theater at 7:30 pm. nightly.

There are also great venues in town to catch the latest indie music. Check out the 8 Days a Week column in the Missoula Independent and online at Montana Live Music.

For something different, stop by Wheat Montana at Third & Reserve every Tuesday night from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. for some great bluegrass music with the Black Mountain Boys. The food is divine and the music sublime - it's a can't miss combination.

Here's where you can catch more live music this week: On Friday night, check out Whizpops at the Top Hat for Family Friendly Fridays from 6 to 8 p.m., American Cream at the VFW at 10 p.m., Mendelssohn, The Hasslers, Catamount and Boston Tea Party play Monk's Bar at 9 p.m., Cash for Zeppo heats up the Union Club at 9 p.m., rapper Dizzy Wright and friends at Stage 112 at 9 p.m., Three Eared Dog and Micah Swanson are at Sean Kelly's at 9 p.m., Mark Duboise and Crossroads are at Sunrise Saloon from 9:30 p.m. to close and Polyrhythmics are at the Top Hat with Shakewell at 10 p.m. On Saturday, Audacity plays the ZACC with Whoopass Girls, Armaund Hammer and My Two Dads at 7 p.m., Captain Wilson Conspiracy plays Finn and Porter from 7 to 9 p.m., the Missoula Symphony Orchestra hosts its 14th annual Holiday Pops concert at Dennison Theatre at 7:30 p.m., Balled in Burlap is at Union Hall for the Missoula Folklore Society Contra Dance from 8 to 11 p.m., Dimestock 13 hits the Dark Horse Bar with Blessiddoom, Mahamawaldi and the Royal Fingers at 8 p.m., Russ Nasset and the Revelators are at the Union Club at 9 p.m., Velocivox is at the Palace at 9 p.m., the Bop a Dips are at Sunrise Saloon from 9:30 p.m. to close and Miller Creek plays the Top Hat with Baby Tyger at 10 p.m. On Sunday you'll have a second chance to check out the Holiday Pops show at Dennison Theater at 3 p.m., Aaron Williams is at Draught Works from 5 to 7 p.m., the Ed Norton Big Band is at the Missoula Winery from 6 to 8 p.m., John Floridis plays the Bitter Root Brewery from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and the Badlander hosts its weekly Jazz Martini Night, beginning at 8 p.m. with Front Street Jazz. Moving on to Monday, Monk's Bar hosts its weekly Jazz Mondays at 7 p.m. Tuesday brings Them Damn Bandits to the Badlander at 9 p.m. and Pinegrass at the Top Hat at 8:30 p.m. , On Wednesday catch Captain Wilson Conspiracy at the Top Hat from 6 to 8 p.m. Finally, on Thursday, its Chance the Rapper, DJ Rashad and Spinn at the Wilma at 7 p.m.. Kristi Neumann at Draught Works Brewery from 6 to 8 p.m., Bret Mosley at the Bitter Root Brewery from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and Gypsy Lumberjacks at the Top Hat at 10 p.m.

Don't forget iTunes, ReverbNation and YouTube - be adventurous and be the first to discover new talent - then share it with us all.

Have a great week, enjoy Missoula and we'll catch you soon with an update. Please feel free to drop me a line at with any comments, suggestions or questions. Also drop me a line if you or your group or business has an event you'd like to promote. I'm happy to spread the word for you.

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