Homeless Person's Vigil 

A candlelight vigil in remembrance of homeless, Toys for Tots dropoff locations, Winter Solstice and more

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As of press time, the Fourth Street Clinic reports that 91 homeless people have died in the Salt Lake City area this year. The Homeless Person's Memorial & Candlelight Vigil aims to remember the homeless who have died but also to bring light to the ways of helping. In short: Remember, Reflect, Reduce. Speakers at the The Homeless Persons Memorial & Candlelight Vigil include Gov. Gary Herbert as well as homeless advocates Pamela Atkinson, Rachel Santizo and musician Alex Boye. Northeast corner of Pioneer Park, Thursday, Dec. 17, 6-6:30 p.m. For more information, visit: on.fb.me/1QGZhhT

If you want to drop off toys for needy kids during the holidays, there are dozens of locations—including A Bar Named Sue and the Blue Boutique. This year, the Utah Republican Party is stepping up. They're requesting new, unwrapped toys for girls and boys up to age 12 through Dec. 18. They also need donations for teens age 13-16. 117 E. South Temple, 801-879-6136, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, contact, Cindie Quintana, cquintana@utgop.org. For more Toys for Tots locations, visit ToysForTots.org

Forget all those ugly Christmas sweater parties—go for the gold: the fourth annual Santa Hat Dash + Reindeer Run to benefit the Road Home. Go the extra mile and create an amazing costume to run in. Then bring along warm clothing, blankets and toiletries for the Road Home Shelter. Registration includes a race number, Santa hat, donation to the Road Home, and all-you-can-drink hot chocolate. More info at this website: bit.ly/1HYSi2q Sugar House Park, 1330 E. 2100 South, Saturday, Dec. 19, 9 a.m., check-in at Big Field Pavilion; 10 a.m., start; adults, 13 years & up, $22.09.

Near or far, you can celebrate the Winter Solstice in the Great Basin Desert or in Salt Lake City. Winter Solstice heralds the gradual return of the light after the shortest and darkest day of the year. Bring your kids to Red Butte Garden's Children's Garden and create solstice head wreaths, winter candles and more. Red Butte Garden, 300 S. Wakara Way, Saturday, Dec. 19, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Or travel the back roads to Nancy Holt's Sun Tunnels, 22-ton concrete pipes that align with the setting and rising solstice sun. Sun Tunnels, located near the Utah/Nevada line about 45 miles north of Wendover, Tuesday, Dec. 22. Directions at Utah.com/wendover/sun-tunnels

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More by Katharine Biele

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