Hot Springs invades White Water Tavern, with The White Glove Test and Healer bringing the rock, 9 p.m. Lucero kicks off a two-night stand at George's Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville, joined by Shawn James & The Shapeshifters Thursday night and Benjamin Del Shreve on Friday night, 9 p.m., $24. The Arkansas Choral Society presents a performance of Handel's "Messiah," First Pentecostal Church, 7:30 p.m., $10-$15. The Joint hosts 5 Point Cove, Leta Joyner and The Dangerous Idiots, 9:30 p.m., $5. The Little Rock Wind Symphony performs "Christmas with the Wind Symphony," Second Presbyterian Church, 7:30 p.m., $8-$10. Authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann will discuss "Double Down," the follow up to their No. 1 best-selling book, "Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime," Clinton School of Public Service, 6 p.m., free.
Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown play an 18-and-older gig with Stephen Neeper & The Wild Hearts, Stickyz, 9 p.m., $8 adv., $10 day of. Folk singers Lisa Lamoureux and Robb McCormick perform at Vino's, 9 p.m. Ramona Smith and The Soul Rhythms headline at Cajun's Wharf, with Richie Johnson handling happy hour, 5:30 and 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m. KSSN 96's Annual Toy Hill toy drive kicks off. Bring new, unopened and unwrapped toys to donate and enjoy some music, parades and more, Clear Channel Metroplex, 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. It's time for the Arkansas Craft Guild's 35th Annual Christmas Showcase, Statehouse Convention Center, 10 a.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m.; Sunday 10 a.m., $5.
The Little Rock Folk Club brings in the eclectic outfit Harpeth Rising, 7:30 p.m., $8-$15, Unitarian Universalist Church. The Arkansas Chamber Singers' 9th Annual Capitol Event features dinner and a silent auction, overlooking fireworks over the Capitol building, The Little Rock Club, 5 p.m., $125. The inaugural Santa Paws Cocktail Party is a benefit for Little Rock Animal Village with holiday drinks and hors d'oeuvres, prizes, entertainment and photos with Santa, Oxford American, 7:30 p.m., $30.
Bethel AME's 150th Anniversary Celebration Banquet features speaker Rodney Slater, the former U.S. transportation secretary, and music from Rodney Block & Co. Little Rock Marriott, 5 p.m., $100.