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Old Town Square's impressive Christmas tree is shipped in annually from the Krkonose mountain region that straddles the Czech/Polish border, and is draped with thousands of lights illuminated daily at 5 p.m.

Children can pet the live animals of the giant nativity, and school children perform carols in daily stage shows.

The square, dating to the 12th century, is the original town marketplace and location of Tyn Church, the double-spired Gothic cathedral that dominates the city's skyline, and the world-famous astronomical clock.

Legend has it that after the clock's designer completed the clock in 1410, city counselors had him blinded, so he wouldn't make a clock as fine as this for anyone else.

Today's Countdown to Christmas is sponsored by Karl Co.

The White Sands International Film Festival is held in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Tasty treats include roasted meats on open spits, traditional cookies and pastries such as (chimney cake), fresh grog, mulled wines and warm medovina, a traditional Czech honey liqueur.

Beers on tap include locally brewed Pilsner Urquell (the world's first Pilsner beer, produced in Plzen, CZ in 1842), Staropramen and Budweiser Budvar.

This exhibition marks the beginning of permanent public access to this notable collection now on view at the Historical Society of Washington, D.

3 star Hotel Don Abbondio in Lecco certainly makes the best accommodation for those looking for special holidays on the shores of Lake Como.