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LIGHTS FESTIVAL: The Fairgrounds Holiday Lights Festival is open now through New Year's Day at Fairgrounds Gaming and Raceway, 5600 McKinley Parkway, Hamburg. The mile-long display features more than a million lights and animated scenes. It is open from 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, and from 3 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The North Pole will be open Fridays through Sundays. Carriage rides, sleigh rides, magic shows and dog sled demonstrations are part of the activities. Cost is $12 per car. Call 649-3900.

VETERANS HOLIDAY PARTY: Veterans Administration Healthcare System will host a family holiday party for returning troops from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today in Room 301, at the Buffalo medical center, 3495 Bailey Ave. Lance Diamond will perform. Staff will be on hand to assist with health care and other veterans' benefits. Bring proof of military service to enter drawings. Call 862-8753.

ART EXHIBIT: Landscapes and portraits of local celebrities by Buffalo artist George Palmer will be on display today through Jan. 15 in the Karpeles Manuscript Museum's Porter Hall, 453 Porter Ave. Palmer has painted the portraits of Lucille Ball, Grover Washington Jr., Tom Fontana and others for the Western New York Entertainment Hall of Fame. His "Portraits and Landscapes" exhibit will open with a reception from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday.

TEA AT CHRISTMAS: The Hamburg Antiques Study Group will host Tea at Christmas from 1 to 4 p.m. today and Sunday at the Boies-Lord House Museum, 5853 South Park Ave., Hamburg. Guided tours, music, Christmas decorations of 1850 and refreshments will be offered. Donations are appreciated.

CONCERT: Brittany Mruczek will be the featured singer in the Spirit of Christmas concert at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Most Precious Blood Church in Angola; and at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 18 at St. Stanislaus Church, 123 Townsend St., Buffalo. will sing English, Polish and Italian Christmas carols.

CHRISTMAS GATHERING: The St. Teresa's Boys Choir alumni of the 1960s, the "Savios," will host a Christmas gathering beginning at 6 p.m. Sunday at Blackthorn Restaurant, 2134 Seneca St. Monsignor Leo McCarthy and former members of South Buffalo's St. Teresa's parish will entertain. For details, call 824-0798.

BUFFET WITH SANTA: A breakfast buffet with Santa will be hosted by the Creekside Banquet Hall from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday at 2669 Union Road, Cheektowaga. There will be an auction and 5 0/5 0 raffle. Proceeds benefit the Variety Kids Telethon 2006 for Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo, Robert Warner Rehabilitation Center and other charities. Cost is $8, children 2-12, $5. For reservations, call 854-7577.

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