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Enjoy the art of holiday shopping &dining locally

Whether you&squo;ve been naughty or nice, raffle tickets are still available for the Upstairs Gallery drawing at 5 p.m. Saturday. Take a moment to stop in and peruse the high quality collection of artists exhibiting during &dquo;String of Pearls: 30 Years of Upstairs Art&dquo; and you may find the perfect one of a kind gift for that last person on your list. If you&squo;re lucky, your raffle ticket may even win you either an &dquo;On the Town&dquo; or &dquo;Under the Tree&dquo; package of delights from local merchants. Tryon Hand Made Dolls are available at Red Clover Gallery through December 24. These unique dolls were crafted out of a community project in Tryon&squo;s historic African-American district to fight poverty and strengthen family spirit among single parent families. Using discarded materials, families work creatively together to create one of a kind dolls complete with their own story. Proceeds from the Registered Tryon Dolls will be reinvested in programs in the historic African-American community of Tryon to build a sustainable future during these tough economic times. The dolls are part of Red Clover Gallery&squo;s current Winter Expo exhibit of local artists. Share the beauty of Polk County with friends and family across the country through Mara Smith&squo;s photo book of &dquo;Focus on the Foothills.&dquo; You may contact her directly at 828-859-9504, by e-mail at maraford@windstream.net, or inquire one of the two new cooperative shops Artisans & Antiques located at 10 and 152 North Trade. At Simply Irresistible Gallery Kathleen will be glad to share with you new photos from the &dquo;Focus on the Foothills&dquo; project that have arrived in the gallery from Carolyn Ashburn as well as new pottery this week from award winning local artist Doug Dacey. In addition, if you missed MONA!&squo;s sale last weekend at The Cottages in Hendersonville, you can find several of her colorful smaller accessory items at Simply Irresistible this week. Check the art listings for holiday hours and contact information for all the galleries in the area. Tonight Porch Night is back for a special winter break Parlor Pickin&squo; at The Lilac Wine Bar from 6:30-9 p.m. Poet Sarah Penrod returns from college to share new poems and the musicians are being rounded up to make this a fun evening of music, art, literature and community. Join in the circle and share your talent, or just come to kick back and listen in the company of artists and friends. Up in Saluda, a new exhibit of the beautiful collage paintings of Bonnie Bardos opens at The Wine Cellar from 6-10 p.m. Stop in to meet the artist and discuss the work over free appetizers. Then head over to Purple Onion to hear Eliza Lynn, two time winner of best singer/songwriter by the Mountain Xpress reader&squo;s poll. Eliza will be sharing her Americana originals at starting at 7:30 p.m.&bsp; Friday Have you preordered your tickets for Home for the Holidays at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday night this weekend at FENCE? It&squo;s not too late to make a phone call 828-859-9021 or order them online at www.fence.org today. Enjoy this homespun tradition of carols and holiday merriment in the beautifully decorated Great Room at FENCE. Feel like dancing now that the work week is done? Mike Gray & The J&squo;s will keep you warm starting at 8 p.m. with some rockin&squo; blues at Elmo&squo;s Too in Columbus. You may have heard &dquo;Mikey Fresh&dquo; on the drums this summer with the Firecracker Jazz Band, but he also loves his rock and roll and has teamed up with former members of the Blue Rags to create a sound that&squo;ll have you twisting and shagging the night away. Looking for a bit of respite after a busy week? Just in time for dinner at 7 p.m. Brad Gee of Hendersonville will be tinkling the ivories at The Lilac Wine Bar while Fred Whiskin makes the piano at Purple Onion sing everything from the blues to Brubeck. Can&squo;t decide? Don&squo;t worry. Fred Whiskin will take over the piano at The Lilac Wine Bar on Saturday evening at 7 p.m. Saturday Claude Graves invites you to his 11 a.m. Holiday Kiln Opening at Little Mountain Pottery in Columbus. Featured items include a series of Christmas plates coming out of the kiln and redware in the showroom. Gove Scrivenor returns with his unique autoharp sound to the Purple Onion. This performer who chose such artists as John Prine and Nancy Griffith for his solo album has a multitude of talents including taking an audience for an entertaining ride. Pac Man Allstars debut in Tryon with their funky jazz sound of guitars and saxophone at Elmo&squo;s. Cold by Sam Lovelace part of the Naked but not Nude open studio exhibit behind TFAC 5-8 p.m. Friday Dec. 26 and 4-6 p.m. Dec. 27-31. (photo submitted) Sunday &dquo;Let the Good Times Roll&dquo; at Elmo&squo;s Too starting at 4 p.m. Red Dog & Winkie invite musicians and friends to come jam some blues and rock, or just dance along and enjoy the fun.