LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Holiday traditions and high-tech features will help light up the season at the Gheens Science Hall and Rauch Planetarium. The planetarium at the University of Louisville will feature three new holiday programs beginning Friday, Nov. 23.

    The seasonal favorites will include an updated version of the planetarium’s traditional holiday favorite, “The Star of Bethlehem.” The show will explore the story of the Christmas star. Combining lasers and the wraparound feel of Immersavision technology, the program will look at possible explanations for the star from scientific, religious and literary points of view.

    The planetarium also will offer a special children’s program, “Winter Wonders.” The program will look at the winter solstice and its importance to a variety of cultures around the world. The program is geared toward children 9 and younger.

    The third program, “Laser Holidays,” will feature a variety of seasonal songs set to a laser show. Songs will include “”Sleigh Ride,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Frosty the Snowman,” “White Christmas” and many others.

    “Star of Bethlehem” will be shown Tuesday through Sunday at 12:30 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. “Winter Wonders” will be shown Saturday at 11:15 a.m. “Laser Holidays” will be shown Saturday and Sunday at 1:45 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

    The planetarium will continue to show its current feature, “Oasis in Space,” Tuesday through Sunday at 3 p.m. Its Friday night laser-show lineup will include “Laser Beatles” at 8 p.m., “Laser Vinyl – The Rock Experience” at 9 p.m., “Laser U2” at 10 p.m. and “Laser X – The Alternative Experience” at 11 p.m.

    Gift certificates good for all shows and merchandise will be on sale through the holiday season at the planetarium’s Supply Ship gift shop. There also will be a special sale from Nov. 23 to Dec. 23 on select astronomical gifts.

    The holiday schedule will run from Nov. 23 through Jan. 13. The planetarium will be closed Nov. 22, Dec. 24-27 and Jan. 1.

    For more information, call the planetarium at (502) 852-6664.

    John Drees is a 35-year veteran in the Office of Communications and Marketing. As vice president, communications and marketing, he works closely with the president, provost and other senior administrators, oversees the Office of Communications and Marketing, including media relations, marketing and brand, broadcast, social media, internal communication, crisis communication, visitor services and special events and activities. A former sports editor for the Voice Newspapers, he was a regular contributor to a variety of publications, including the Kentucky Sports Report and the Courier-Journal. A poor but enthusiastic golfer, he is an avid Cardinal sports fan. He also loves the Detroit Lions, so pity him.