Dec. 1

Give ’em the old razzle dazzle — The 18th annual Holiday Dazzle Light Parade, hosted by WINY Radio, boasts more than 100 floats, joyful music and, well, dazzling lights. Thousands are expected to hit the streets of Putnam and line the 1½-mile route from the Grove Street Monument to the Owen Tarr Sports Complex. 5-8 p.m.,


Dec. 1

You’re gonna need a brighter boat — The Connecticut River Museum’s annual Trees in the Rigging Community Carol Sing and Boat Parade launches the festivities for the month in Essex. There’s a lantern-lit carol stroll down Main Street with the Sailing Masters of 1812 Fife and Drum Corps before a parade of decorated boats float down the Connecticut River. Rumor has it Santa may ditch the sleigh and come to town by watercraft. 4-6:30 p.m.,, 860-767-8269

Dec. 6-8

Malice at the Palace Theater — The Wicked Weekend Horror Market & Film Fest slashes its way into the Stafford Palace Theater. Vote on your favorite flicks, check out the art exhibit, buy some holiday gifts and compete in the Cosplay for a Cause contest benefitting Scares That Care, a charity that fights “the real monsters of childhood illness, burns and breast cancer.” $15; Dec. 6, 5-11 p.m.; Dec. 7, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Dec. 8, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.,, 860-851-9780


Dec. 6-8

The age of Antiquarius — The Greenwich Historical Society’s Antiquarius holiday event will take over the Old Greenwich Civic Center as the honorary design chairman, Bronson Van Wyck, transforms the exhibition floor into an animal kingdom for the winter antiques show. On display will be 19th- and 20th-century American, European and Asian decorative furnishings, fine art, contemporary collectibles, jewelry, handbags and more. $150, Dec. 6, 6-9 p.m. (opening reception); Dec. 7, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Dec. 8, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.,, 203-869-6899

Dec. 7

Do it for the sculpture — Six professional ice carvers will transform nearly 1,000 pounds of ice into spectacular sculptures in four hours on New Haven’s Broadway Island at The Shops at Yale. The soundtrack to the carving will be performances by a cappella groups The Yale Alley Cats, SCSU’s NOTEorious, The New Blue, Proof of the Pudding, Yale Women’s Slavic Chorus, Out of the Blue, Redhot & Blue and The Yale Spizzwinks and The Legends A Cappella. Noon-4 p.m.,


Dec. 12-22

What the Dickens? — A(n Improvised) Christmas Carol will take live audience suggestions to make the Charles Dickens masterpiece even more fun. The show, produced by Hot Cocco Productions and presented at the Sea Tea Comedy Theater in Hartford, combines your ideas with the improvisers’ imaginations. Attend more than once, it won’t be the same. $18 ($10 under 16),, 860-578-4832

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Dec. 14-15

Visions of the Sugar Plum Fairy — Four world-class dancers from the New York City Ballet will join 100 professionally trained dancers from the Eastern Connecticut Ballet to put on The Nutcracker at the Garde Arts Center in New London. Dec. 14, 1:30 and 7 p.m., Dec. 15, 1:30 p.m.,, 860-444-7373


Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin will be honored at the 2020 pageant held at Mohegan Sun before passing on the crown.

Dec. 15-17, 19

There she is … This month Mohegan Sun will become just the third location to host the Miss America pageant in its 99-year history. Two preliminary nights on Dec. 15 and 16 will lead up to a special tribute show on Dec. 17 for the reigning title holder, New York’s Nia Franklin, where guests will be able to listen to music she has composed during the past year. As Miss America 2019, Franklin has been promoting her social impact initiative, Advocating for the Arts. The final will be broadcast live on NBC on Dec. 19. Dec. 15-16, 7-10 p.m.; Dec. 17 and 19, 8-10 p.m., mohegansun.com888-226-7711

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Dec. 18

Musical guest … Ana Gasteyer —  SNL veteran Ana Gasteyer’s tour to support her new holiday album Sugar & Booze is heading to the Ridgefield Playhouse. Her festive songs, both classic (“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Let it Snow”) and original (the title track and “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm”), will make sure you’re in the spirit with their “merry blend of jazz, pop, soul, funk, blues and comedy.” $45, 8 p.m.,, 203-438-5795

Search for more events from around the state here.

This article appeared in the December 2019 issue of Connecticut Magazine. You can subscribe here, or find the current issue on sale hereSign up for our newsletter to get the latest and greatest content from Connecticut Magazine delivered right to your inbox. Got a question or comment? Email, or contact us on Facebook @connecticutmagazine or Twitter @connecticutmag.

Mike Wollschlager, editor and writer for Connecticut Magazine, was born and raised in Bristol and has lived in Farmington, Milford, Shelton and Wallingford. He was previously an assistant sports editor at the New Haven Register.