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BEST BETS

1. Last call for two fine productions:

"A Little House Christmas" by TOY will be presented at 2 and 7 p.m. Friday and at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Based on the novels of Laura Ingalls Wilder, this story tells the tale of how the Ingalls prepared for a Christmas without gifts or company because of severe weather. It plays at the Franklin Street Theater, 282 Franklin St. Tickets are $10. Many performances have been sold out; call (856-4410) to reserve tickets.

"A Child's Christmas in Wales" is at the Irish Classical Theatre Co. through Sunday. Directed by Brother Augustine Towey, it features Vincent O'Neill as Dylan Thomas in a Welsh seacoast town on Christmas Day. Tickets range from $10 to $25. It's appropriate for children 7 and older. Also call (853-4282) ahead as there have been sell-outs.

2. Celebrate the season Mexican style.

A Three Kings pinata party will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Williamsville Public Library, 5571 Main St., Williamsville. It is geared for children ages 6 to 10 and registration is required before the event (call 632-6176).

Participants will learn about the Christmas holidays in Mexico, taste a Rosca de Reyes (a yeast bread made in shape of a ring and filled with dried fruits and nuts). "The bread has a hidden baby and the one who finds it is suppose to have a party on Feb. 2," said Judy Lopez del Moral, a librarian who lived in Mexico City for seven years.

Children will also have a chance to take a whack at a pinata, which will be hung over a tree branch (weather permitting) and filled with fruit, nuts and candy.

3. Learn about music "Through the Eyes of the Composer."

That's the name of a concert planned for 4 p.m. Sunday at the Church of the Ascension, Linwood Avenue and North Street.

It's the 15th annual New Year Gala Concert. Performing artists are the Buried Treasures Ensemble, which includes soprano Adrienne Tworek-Gryta; oboist Ronald Richards; bassoonist Darlene Jussila and pianist Persis Vehar. They will play the music of William Rich, Reno Fusani, Walter S. Harley, Carl Maria von Weber and other composers.

Admission at the door is $5 for adults; $4 for senior citizens and students. Children under 12 are admitted free.

4. Dashing through the snow.

The Stateline Horse Club offers sleigh rides throughout the Chautauqua Institution grounds. Weather permitting, the rides begin today, and continue on Friday, Saturday and Sunday between 1 and 4 p.m.

On subsequent weekends, they will be given on Saturday and Sunday through the end of February. Wagons will be used when there is not enough snow for the sleighs.

Tickets are $2 for adults; $1 for children through age 12. They are sold at the Chautauqua bookstore (357-2151). Group charters may be arranged by calling Mrs. Lee Nickerson at 753-2404.

5. Here's your cue.

Grab your favorite stick and enter the Billiards Tournament (or just come to watch) being held on Saturday at the Lancaster Opera House, 21 Central Ave., Lancaster. It begins at noon and lasts until the last ball drops.

Creative attire is encouraged. The entry fee for participants is $25; the fee for women, seniors and students is $15. Spectators can view the action from the balcony for $2. Food and beverages will be sold throughout the day.

For information, call the Opera House at 683-1776.

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