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Lessons and Carols will feature the Glee Club and Chorus, audience carols and readings by community members, Dec. 8-9 in Sage Chapel.

Things to Do, Dec. 6-13, 2019

Outdoor gear sale

If you’re looking for sporting goods – from climbing gear and kayak paddles to packs, boots and bike helmets – there’s a wide selection of equipment to be found at Cornell Outdoor Education’s annual Gear Sale.

New and used outdoor gear will be sold Dec. 7, from 9 a.m. to noon in the Ramin Room of Bartels Hall. The sale is open to everyone; come early for the best selection.

The sale features equipment for activities including, but not limited to, snowshoeing, cross-country and telemark skiing, climbing, camping, mountain biking, backpacking, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, rowing and paddleboarding.

Lessons and Carols

Lessons and Carols at Sage Chapel, an annual audience favorite, returns for performances Dec. 8 and 9, both at 7:30 p.m.

All free advance tickets for both nights have been claimed, but check periodically for availability as tickets get returned.

Doors at the south entrance of the chapel (nearest the Cornell Store) open at 6:45 p.m. for ticketholders. Willard Straight Hall is available as an indoor waiting area. The event is all-ages; e-tickets can be on a smartphone or printed.

Tickets expire at 7:15 p.m., and any empty seats will be made available then, to those in the standby line at the north entrance (nearest Olin Library) as capacity allows. See the event FAQ for more information.

The service features the Cornell University Chorus and Glee Club, interspersed with audience carols and traditional readings by members of the Cornell community. Musical performances are conducted by Robert Isaacs and feature organist Anna Steppler.

Bouldering competition

Cornell Outdoor Education hosts “The Comp Before the Storm,” a bouldering competition, Dec. 8, noon to 6 p.m. at the Lindseth Climbing Center. The competition features 35 new boulders for a variety of skill levels.

Registration is full, but a limited number of walk-in spots may be available on the day of the event. Climbers are encouraged to participate.

Climbers will compete at three difficulty levels, with winners in each category and takeaways for all. Prizes will be raffled; prize winners and competition results will be announced at the end.

The climbing wall will be closed during the event. Spectators can watch from the adjacent Ramin Room beginning at 4 p.m. Following the competition, the climbing wall will open for two hours of open climbing; regular admission rates and restrictions will apply.

United Way celebration

The community is invited to the second annual Cornell United Way Winter Fest, Dec. 13 from 3-4:30 p.m. in Willard Straight Hall.

The celebration will feature music, dancing, stand-up comedy and storytelling; games; an ugly holiday sweater contest; prizes; and food by Cornell Catering.

Cornell campaign co-chairs Pat Wynn and Rick Burgess will deliver remarks. If you need accommodations to participate in the event, email

A Bronx tale

The Jewish Studies Program will present a staged reading of the play “Enough to Go” by Fred Peretz Cohn, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. in Barnes Hall. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The public is invited; tickets are not required but seats can be reserved online.

The reading, directed by visiting lecturer David Winitsky ’94, will feature a cast including Kitchen Theatre veterans Eric Brooks and Rachel Lampert, and professor Jonathan Boyarin, the Paul and Bertha Hendrix Director of Jewish Studies.

Jonathan Boyarin

Cohn, a former Ithaca resident, says “Enough to Go” is not autobiographical, but is “deeply rooted in my lifelong exposure to, and appreciation of, Jewish humor, family and culture.” The play’s setting is the last decaying tenement building on a once-vibrant New York City block.

“If you’ve ever been to the Bronx, or had a pastrami on rye from an authentic New York deli, then this play is for you,” said Winitsky, who teaches the course “Sitcom Jews: Ethnic Representation on Television” and is the founder of the Jewish Plays Project. He directed his undergraduate thesis production 25 years ago in Barnes Hall.

A conservationist’s journey

Horace Kephart, a Cornell graduate student in the 1880s, went on to be a Yale University librarian and evolved into an enigmatic woodsman, author and activist. He was instrumental in establishing the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Appalachian Trail that runs through it.

Janet McCue will discuss Kephart’s life and legacy in a Chats in the Stacks book talk Dec. 12, 4-5 p.m. in 160 Mann Library. The event is free and open to the public, with refreshments served.

McCue, a retired associate university librarian and former director of Mann Library, is the co-author with George Ellison of “Back of Beyond: A Horace Kephart Biography,” winner of the 2019 Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award.

The biography is the result of decades of scholarship and research using collections at Cornell and beyond. “Back of Beyond” chronicles Kephart’s conservation advocacy and its enduring impact on the land he loved, while also telling Kephart’s multifaceted personal story, revealing him to be a man full of contradictions.

The talk is supported by the Mary A. Morrison Public Education Fund at Mann Library.

Tarantino’s “Hollywood”

Cornell Cinema will screen Quentin Tarantino’s latest film, “Once Upon a Time in … Hollywood,” Dec. 12-14 in Willard Straight Theatre. Showtime is 7 p.m. all three nights.

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio as a TV star and Brad Pitt as his stunt double, the film is set in 1969 Los Angeles as the movie industry, and the rest of the culture, is changing around them. The large ensemble cast also features Margot Robbie.

Cinema patrons are invited to fill out a 2020 Programming Survey online to help in choosing programs for next semester.

Media Contact

Abby Butler