Photo courtesy University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

STEVENS POINT — The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point has a host of events coming up during the next several weeks.

This December, learn how favorite holiday traditions, such as kissing under the mistletoe and gift giving, originate throughout the world at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s Allen F. Blocher Planetarium.

Two free programs, “Winter Wonders” and “Season of Light,” will be shown on Dec. 9 and 16 at 2 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. respectively.

“Winter Wonders” looks at Christian and Jewish religious events during the winter season as well as rituals of cultures that originate from solstice observances. The program also explores the customs of Native Americans, Inuit, Incans and the people of central Africa and China.

“Season of Light” traces the development of many well-known holiday customs, including burning of yule logs, hanging Christmas lights and lighting the Menorah and luminaries. The program also explores holiday customs from other cultures and parts of the world.

On Monday evenings, the “Night Sky” program is offered at 8 p.m. in the planetarium to look in detail at objects in the current night sky.

Planetarium seating is first come, first served for up to 55 people. Groups of 15 or more may schedule a special showing of any planetarium program by calling 715-346-2208 or completing an online request form at There is a cost of $25 per group for these presentations.

The Arthur J. Pejsa Observatory telescope is open for free viewings from 8:30-10 p.m. Monday through Wednesday evenings if the skies are clear and the temperature is above 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

The planetarium and observatory are located on the second and fourth floor of the UW-Stevens Point Science Building at the corner of Reserve Street and Fourth Avenue. Parking is available in Lot D behind the building and is free in all university lots after 7 p.m. and on weekends.

Santa Claus is coming to University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. The university’s popular Breakfast with Santa event is the first of several held on campus in December.

Unless otherwise noted, the following events will be held in The Encore at the Dreyfus University Center (DUC), 1015 Reserve St., Stevens Point. They are free with a UW-Stevens Point or Mid-State Technical College student ID or $5 for community members.

  • Dec. 12 –Comedian Jon Rineman, 9 p.m.
  • Dec. 13 –Aileeah Colgan, country concert, 8:30 p.m.

Schmeeckle Reserve. Photo courtesy University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Discover the natural beauty winter has to offer during free programs at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s Schmeeckle Reserve.

Taught by UW-Stevens Point students, these programs meet at the reserve’s Visitor Center, 2419 North Point Drive, Stevens Point, unless otherwise noted. Dress for the weather, as some programs are outdoors.

December programs include:

· Alien Invaders, Dec. 8, 2:30-3:30 p.m. Join the battle against invasive species that threaten native plants and animals, and help save the reserve.

· Ancient Animals, Dec. 9, 1-2 p.m. Walk into the past on an interactive winter hike and learn about the ancient animals that roamed during the Ice Age, including giant beavers and mammoths.

· Snowflake Science, Dec. 13, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Investigate the science behind these miniature works of art, then build your own snowflake and go on a snowflake safari.

For more information, call 715-346-4992.

Photo courtesy UWSP. UW-Stevens Point dance students Brendan Thompson and Jenna Ziebarth rehearse the dance work “Spectrum,” choreographed by dance major Joe Svihel, as they prepare for the student dance show “Afterimages 2018.” Photo by Kaitlin Piette.

Students will showcase their creativity in dance and choreography at the upcoming annual Afterimages dance concert at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

“Afterimages 2018” will be performed in Jenkins Theatre in the Noel Fine Arts Center, 1800 Portage St., Stevens Point, at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 and 8, and at 2 p.m. Dec. 9. Students direct their own cast of dancers and work with student costume and lighting designers to bring their vision to life, said Michael Estanich, professor of dance.

Find sneak peek videos and choreographer interviews at or on Facebook at uwsptheatredance.

Tickets are $24 for adults and $14 for age 17 and younger. Discounts are available for UW-Stevens Point faculty, staff and students. Tickets are available at the UW-Stevens Point Information and Tickets Office, located in the Dreyfus University Center concourse, by calling 715-346-4100 or at

NEW! Whether you play the tuba or euphonium or simply enjoy holiday music, you are invited to the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s eighth annual Tuba Christmas concert on Dec. 14.

Tuba Christmas concerts, honoring the late tubist William J. Bell, are held annually in more than 250 cities throughout the world and feature traditional Christmas carols specially arranged by American composer Alec Wilder. The warm, rich organ-like sound of the low brass ensemble has won the hearts of everywhere.

Players of all ages will rehearse from 5–6:30 p.m. Dec. 14 in Michelsen Hall of the Noel Fine Arts Center, and then perform in a free public concert at 7:30 p.m., also in Michelsen Hall. Participants and audience members are encouraged to wear festive attire.

Photo courtesy University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Registration for performers is $10 per person, which includes a Tuba Christmas 2018 commemorative button. Performers also are required to purchase music for “Carols for a Merry Tuba Christmas,” available at check-in. Chairs and stands are provided.

Euphonium and tuba players can register at or by contacting Associate Professor Patrick Lawrence, Department of Music, 715-346-4052 or

Part Irish pub band and part rock band, Gaelic Storm will perform at 7:30 p.m. March 13 in the Laird Room of the Dreyfus University Center. General admission tickets cost $25 plus service fees. Tickets will be $30 the day of the show.

Gaelic Storm. Photo courtesy UWSP.

Purchase tickets at the University Information and Tickets in the Dreyfus University Center concourse, at 800-838-3378 or online at

The band has topped the Billboard World Chart six times and makes regular appearances at music and Irish festivals across the country, including Milwaukee’s Irish Fest. The group’s latest album, “Go Climb a Tree,” was released in 2017.

Gaelic Storm includes Patrick Murphy on vocals, piano, harmonica, accordion and spoons, Steve Twigger on vocals, guitar, mandolin and bouzouki, Ryan Lacy on drums and world percussion, Pete Purvis on pipes and Katie Grennan on fiddle.

Photos courtesy UWSP.