The weather outside during this upcoming winter season may be frightful at times — but community holiday events promise to be delightful.

McAlester and surrounding communities will host holiday events in the coming weeks to bring people together for local shopping, magical parades, and other winterland fun.

An outdoor ice rink will open on Dec. 14 in McAlester at the Farmer’s Market on the corner of East Choctaw Avenue and South Main Street.

The city’s tourism department purchased a portable rink that measures 38 feet by 52 feet and is made of synthetic ice, which is a solid polymer.

This year’s Downtown Christmas Parade in McAlester is set to begin at 7 p.m. on Dec. 6 and will feature a Magical Disney Christmas theme.

Entrants so far include floats inspired by “Alice in Wonderland,” “Finding Nemo,” and more. Friday was the deadline to enter the parade competition — but late-comers can still participate.

This year’s Merry Christmas Concert is set to begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, at S. Arch Thompson Auditorium in McAlester, at the corner of North Second Street and Adams Avenue. The event will feature about 65 singers from the McAlester Community Choir and an 18-piece orchestra for the concert.

Also on Dec. 8, Oklahoma Gospel Singing hosts a Christmas Banquet and Concert at the Grand Event Center at the corner of Third Street and Carl Albert Parkway in McAlester. Doors open at 5 p.m., with the event set to start at 6 p.m.

The Hartshorne Christmas Crawl will be held Dec. 7 to kick off a holiday weekend that includes a parade in downtown and shows at Liberty Theater on Dec. 8.

Proceeds from the Christmas Crawl will benefit renovations of Hartshorne’s park, so it’s an event that is both fun and helps the community. The event starts at 5 p.m. Dec. 7 with a treat-tasting contest, but includes a meet-and-greet with Santa and an ornament-making station starting at 6 p.m. at the gazebo — both of which are free and open to the public.

Hartshorne will also host a “Disney Magic” themed parade starting at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 8. The parade route will travel down Main Street and loop back to the starting point.

Christmas Shows will start again in Hartshorne at Liberty Theatre starting Dec. 8 — with shows scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8, 2:30 p.m. Dec. 9, 7 p.m. Dec. 15, and 7 p.m. Dec. 22.

It will all be capped by the Community Christmas Dinner, when volunteers plan to deliver Christmas dinners on Christmas Day to anyone living within the McAlester and Krebs city limits who want to participate. All they ask is to make arrangements in advance by phoning 918-421-2920. That’s also the number to call for those wanting to assist with the project.

Many more community and charitable events will help spread holiday cheer across the area this month.

We appreciate those involved working to make these events successful and hopefully make everyone’s holiday season merrier by bringing people together.