The Hanukkah and Christmas holidays have come and gone, but Kwanzaa, which began Wednesday, is still being celebrated throughout the county and nation in various forms and events.

The Kwanzaa celebration, which begins on Dec. 26 and ends on Jan. 1 each year, will be celebrated by the local nonprofit Nia Cultural Center with its 30th annual Kwanzaa Celebration, “Operational Unity,” at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Old Central Cultural Center at 2627 Ave. M in Galveston.

The event, which will focus on the principle of the day, Ujamaa (cooperative economics), will also include the Kwanzaa Market (which begins at 4 p.m.) featuring a variety of wares from vendors, as well as a community feast where attendees are asked to bring a dish to share after the celebration.

This year’s event will recognize Gregory T. Wilson Sr., Angela Hill, Lorraine Hunter-Simpson, Wendy Langham, Stephen Holmes, Aaron Deyon Jr., Tonia Griffin, Bobbi Holman, and Jovan Harris as its 2018 Village Keeper Award recipients, as well as live entertainment from its Freedom School Scholars, Jakirrah Jenkins, The Dancing Dolls from Central Middle School, and African dance and drumming by Sehah Youth and Fitness Center of Houston.

And, make sure you bring the kiddos, as free children’s books will be given away.

For information, contact Sue Johnson at niacultural@gmail.com or 409-765-7086. You can also visit www.niacultural.org.

END OF YEAR PARTIES

Well, we’ve come to the end of another year, and there’s plenty of New Year’s Eve parties for you to choose from this upcoming holiday weekend in Galveston County.

First up: The American Legion Post No. 554 will have its New Year’s Eve Party from 7 p.m. to midnight Monday at 1650 state Highway 3 S. in League City. Open to members and guests. For information, call 281-332-8733.

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Then over in Santa Fe, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 5400 will have its New Year’s Eve Dance from 8 p.m. Monday to 12:30 a.m. Tuesday at 11230 state Highway 6 in Santa Fe.

The Silver Wings Band will perform. Admission is $15 in advance or $20 at the door.

For tickets, call 409-354-3667. Beer and setups will be sold. For information, call 409-925-2525.

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And, for those of you on the island, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 880 will have its New Year’s Eve Party from 9 p.m. Monday to 1 a.m. Tuesday at 1014 24th St. in Galveston.

For information, call 409-763-9866.

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If you can’t make it to any of the New Year’s Eve parties listed above, Let’s Dance will have its “Puttin’ on the Ritz” New Year’s dance from 7 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. Jan. 5 at Hometown Heroes Park at 1001 E. League City Parkway in League City.

The Whiperettes will do a special jazz number.

Admission is $8 per person at the door. For information, call Bill or Neva Schroder at 417-838-2204.

‘AN EVENING OF IRISH DANCE’

The Tew Academy of Irish Dance will present “An Evening of Irish Dance” at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Queen of Angels Church at 4100 state Highway 3 in Dickinson.

The end of year performance/play will feature its dancers demonstrating both traditional Irish dance and a short play setting Irish dance to Irish folklore.

Admission is $10 per person at the door. Ages 6 and younger will be admitted for free. Seating is limited.

For information, email Richard Tew at rttew@yahoo.com.

IT’S A BIRTHDAY PARTY

If New Year’s Eve parties aren’t your thing, then make sure you attend this “grand” party.

The Grand 1894 Opera House will celebrate its 124th birthday from noon to 5 p.m. Thursday at 2020 Postoffice St. in Galveston.

The free celebration will include complimentary tours of the theatre, cake and refreshments.

So, if you go, tell Maureen and the crew I sent you!

SARAH GRACE SET TO PERFORM

Sarah Grace, a Friendswood native and semifinalist from season 15 of “The Voice,” will be performing live with her band, The Soul, and special guest, Clay Melton, from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Jan. 5 at the Old Central Cultural Center at 2627 Ave. M in Galveston.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Lyda Plummer also will be performing.

General admission tickets are $15, premium tickets, $30, and VIP tickets, which include a meet and greet, are $60.

YAGA’S CHILI QUEST & BEER FEST

Tickets are now available for Yaga’s annual Chili Quest & Beer Fest, which will be Jan. 19 on the corner of 23rd and Strand streets in downtown Galveston.

The event features a chili cook-off, the Beerfoot 5K Fun Run, vendors, a washer tournament, a merchant walkabout on The Strand, public chili sampling, VIP beer tasting, Jackpot Margarita Contest, public beer tasting, and more.

Tickets for the chili and beer tasting combo package are $39; chili tasting tickets are $12; VIP beer tasting, $40; GA beer tasting, $34; and Tres Chili and 16 ounce beer tickets are $15.

To purchase tickets or get more information, visit yagaschiliquest.com or call 409-770-0999.

Angela Wilson: 409-683-5239; angela.wilson@galvnews.com

Community News Editor

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