[image-1]Turkey Day Run and Gobble Wobble — Forget about the Macy’s Parade, football, and turkey for a few hours Thursday morning — the Holy City has its own unique Thanksgiving Day tradition that’s been around for over 100 years. The Turkey Day Run is touted as South Carolina’s premier 5K race, attracting about 3,500 participants and thousands more onlookers. Organized by the Knights of Columbus, the race begins and ends at Marion Square, winding through downtown Charleston past various historic landmarks. It’s a competitive race, though walkers are invited as well as serious runners — they’ll just have to start in the back. At 10 a.m., there will be a Children’s Run within the perimeter of Marion Square for ages 4-10. After all the running’s done, the post-race party in Marion Square will offer calorie-replenishment in the form of free beer (courtesy of Michelob), water, and snacks — regardless of whether or not you made the trek. Even if you don’t set a race record (you’ll have to do better than 14 minutes), you’ll feel a lot better about all that turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie you’ll be gorging yourself on later. —Erica Jackson THURSDAY Nov. 22, 9 a.m. (843) 819-3913. www.turkeydayrun.com

[image-2]A Christmas Story —“You’ll shoot your eye out!” “Frageelay,” “Oh, fuuuggdde.” Those are just some of the lines from Jean Shepherd’s A Christmas Story, and thanks to back-to-back reruns on cable TV every holiday season, they are likely to live on in perpetuity. Young Ralphie, growing up in an idyllic, Tom Sawyer-like Midwestern town, pulls all the strings to put in his mother’s mind that he really, really, really wants a Red Rider BB gun for Christmas. The fun part is watching his plans get foiled again and again (my personal fav is the department store Santa putting his boot-heel to Ralphie’s forehead, pushing him down that horrid slide all the while heaving a hearty, demonic “Ho, ho, hooo!”) The Village Playhouse is presenting a stage adaptation of this seasonal, and now mythic, tale. The challenge may be getting audiences to forget their deep familiarity with A Christmas Story and engage with the live performance. In other words, how do you get people to see you and your role as Ralphie and not project on you a blue-eyed, blond-haired picture of a young Peter Billingsly? Then again, maybe that’s not a challenge at all. Only one way to find out. See for yourself. —John Stoehr OPENS FRIDAY Nov. 23, 24, 29, 30, Dec. 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 8 p.m. Dec. 9, 16, 3 p.m. $12-$22, (843) 856-1575, Village Playhouse, 730 Coleman Blvd., Mt. Pleasant. (843) 856-1579. www.villageplayhouse.com

Dorothea Benton Frank Book Signing — Just in time for the holidays, Dorothea Benton Frank returns to Charleston to celebrate the release of her newest Lowcountry novel, The Christmas Pearl. Frank is a frequent flyer on the New York Times best-seller list with titles like Full of Grace, The Land of Mango Sunsets, Sullivan’s Island, Pawley’s Island, Plantation, Isle of Palms, and Shem Creek. Her novels bring the Lowcountry to life with tales of Southern tradition and Gullah charm that make even the Yankees wish they lived here. The Christmas Pearl is no exception. The story takes place in 1920s Charleston at Christmas. Frank’s heroine, Theodora, longs for the holidays of the past when her family knew the importance of good old-fashioned Southern generosity and kindness. With the help of her old Gullah housekeeper, Pearl, Theodora just may bring her family back to the traditional holidays she remembers. The Preservation Society of Charleston hosts a luncheon where Frank will present her newest novel and share some of her most treasured stories of holidays past in Charleston. Attendees will receive a copy of The Christmas Pearl signed by the author. —Madelyne Adams TUESDAY Nov. 27. $55, (843) 722-0660, Francis Marion Hotel, 387 King St. www.preservationsociety.org

Single & Social Party — Sometimes when you’re single it seems like all the perfect ones are taken … and sometimes you don’t realize that until you’ve been eyeing/chatting with them all night. You can avoid that awkward by-the-way-this-is-my-girlfriend moment by going to a party just for singles, sponsored in part by It’s Just Lunch, an international dating service for busy professionals. $10 will get you into Social Wine Bar for the event, along with one free drink and appetizers. You’ll also be eligible for giveaways throughout the night including gift cards, kayak tours, personal training sessions, and more. DJ Mike Kruz of B92 will provide music. —Erica Jackson WEDNESDAY Nov. 28, 7-10 p.m. $10. Social, 188 E. Bay St. (843) 577-5665.

[image-3]Holiday Festival of Lights — Break out your Santa hat and head out to James Island for the annual Holiday Festival of Lights. Keep warm by taking the three-mile driving tour for a more condensed view of the display, but park the car and walk to really feel the Christmas cheer. With over two million lights, the festival is dazzling, but buy a pair of 3-D sunglasses at the gift shop and have a trippin’ good time as the lights transform into smiley faces, Santas, or snowmen. The festival has everything you need to immerse yourself in the holidays, from hot chocolate and roasted marshmallows to pictures with Santa (have you been good?). Stop by Santa’s Sweets Shoppe to indulge in homemade cookies, candy, or fudge and top off your sugar rush with a caffeine-charged specialty coffee. Then, if you’re too full of the Christmas spirit to walk all the way around the park, for an extra $3 a person you can ride in style on the festival train. The giant greeting cards and holiday sand sculptures will be a big hit with the kids, but they won’t compare to the carousel ($1 per ride), so be prepared to go again and again. While you’re over that way, take a shot at the climbing wall. If you can actually make it to the top, you’ll have bragging rights until the New Year. If you’re more of the domestic type, try your hand at the Gingerbread House Competition. Besides being a fun time, this is the perfect photo op for the Christmas card, so grab the kids and see the lights. —Madelyne Adams Through Jan. 1, 2008. $10/vehicle, (843) 795-4FUN, James Island County Park, 871 Riverland Dr., James Island. www.holidayfestivaloflights.com