Kate's five fun things to do this weekend – Nov. 17 to 19

Of course the big event this weekend is Santa is coming to town, but there’s so much more happening in and around Waterloo region.

Santa is coming to town, but there’s so much more happening in and around Waterloo region

Johanna Sillanpaa is performing at The Jazz Room in Waterloo Saturday evening. (Johanna Sillanpaa)

The big man himself – Santa Claus – will be all over Waterloo region and Guelph this weekend.

He'll be making stops in the Kitchener-Waterloo parade Saturday morning, Cambridge's parade through Hespeler on Saturday evening and Guelph's parade is Sunday afternoon.

It'll be warm with rain on Saturday – so much so there's a special weather statement – and then cold with flurries on Sunday. But don't let the weather keep you inside - there's plenty to do this weekend.

Syria Film Festival

6 p.m. opening reception, Friday, Nov. 17

6:20 p.m. first film starts, Saturday, Nov. 18

6:20 p.m. first film starts, Sunday, Nov. 19

Lazaridis Hall, Wilfrid Laurier University, 64 University Avenue, Waterloo

The International Students Overcoming War are partnering with Kitchener organization Najda Now to bring this film festival to the region. The films will cover topics such as aspirations and struggles of Syrians and it will also get audiences talking about social justice, human rights and global citizenship. The film Yellow on Sunday will be followed by a discussion with filmmaker Wael Saad Aldeen.

Watch the trailer for Watani: My Homeland:

Johanna Sillanpaa at The Jazz Room

8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 18

The Jazz Room, 59 King St. N., Waterloo

Calgary's Johanna Sillanpaa brings her vibrant vocals to Waterloo Saturday night. She and her ensemble have been all over North America and Europe performing soulful jazz. She has been nominated for the Western Canadian Music Awards and Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards. She'll cover everything from modern jazz to original music.

Festival of Neighbourhoods

1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 19

Kitchener City Hall in the rotunda

This event celebrates Kitchener's neighbourhoods and gives people the chance to talk to other neighbourhood groups about what they've done to build community spirit with the people that live around them. There will be refreshments, prizes and people sharing stories. If you'd like to help plan more events in your part of the city or just want to hear what others are doing, this is your chance.

Wilson Street Reopening

10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 18

Wilson Street, Guelph

Wilson Street in downtown Guelph has been closed for construction for a while, but it will finally reopen just in time for the busy holiday shopping season. But before it opens to traffic, there will be a party that includes live entertainment including local musicians Cynthia Kinnunen, The Lifers and Joni Nehrita. There's also face painting for children, prizes and treasure hunt.

Two chances to listen to classical guitar on Sunday - first in Cambridge at the Idea Exchange then in the evening when Liona Boyd performs in Kitchener. (Carlos Alvarez, Getty Images)

Musical Lives Classical Guitar Open Mic

2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 19

Idea Exchange, Queen's Square, 1 North Square, Cambridge

Come out and listen as members of the Open Mic Guild for Classical Guitarists, Guitar Society of Brantford, K-W Guitar Orchestra and Musical Lives Guitar Orchestra (Cambridge) perform at the Idea Exchange. Admission is free but donations to the Cambridge Self-Help Food Bank accepted.

Side note: If you like classical guitar, don't forget Liona Boyd will be performing at St. Matthews Lutheran Church in Kitchener Sunday evening. There were still a few tickets left as of Friday. Listen to our interview with Liona Boyd by clicking here.