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A star is shining in the east. Image courtesy of Facebook.

While some of us live in Arlington and know what it has to offer, it may have been a while for many of you reading this column. With a thriving downtown at its center, the Arlington experience includes art, coffee, craft beer, dining, shopping, and more, and it extends east to where it melds with Grand Prairie and west to where it meets Pantego. Check out the calendar at DowntownArlngton.org and plan accordingly. Meanwhile, here are a few great event choices.

From 5:30pm to 8:30pm on Thu, Arlington Parks & Recreation hosts Jingle Bell Drive-Thru at the Dottie Lynn Rec Center (3200 Norwood Ln, 817-277-5001), where children can meet Santa and take a socially distanced professional picture with him. (A link to the photos is emailed after the event.) Each participant also receives a North Pole Christmas Treat before they leave. The cost is $5 per child. Register to attend at bit.ly/JingleBellDrive-Thru.

From 9pm to 2am on Fri, head to Hooligan’s Pub (310 E Abrams St, Ste 150, 817-274-1232) for its annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Party. Along with food and drink specials, there is an ugly sweater contest with prizes for first and second places ($50 and $25 gift cards, respectively). Hooligan’s also offers full-service catering. Keep that in mind if your small, socially distanced gathering will be at the house this year.

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From 9pm to 2am Fri-Sat, Jamaica Gates Caribbean Cuisine (1020 W Arkansas Ln, 817-795-2600) — Best Caribbean Food winner in our annual Best Ofs many times over — is hosting its Christmas Vibes Party. There will be chef’s specials on the food menu and Christmas drinks at the bar. Guests should dress up in holiday attire, and the admission is free.

For those into Harry Potter, head to Hearth Wisdom Store (2899 W Pioneer Pkwy, 682-323-5085) for a Hogwarts Upon arrival, you will be “unofficially sorted” into your house for the day and catch up with some well-known professors, witches, and wizards. There will be free candy canes and photo opportunities, plus house wands available for purchase. This kid-friendly event is free to attend.

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