Carolers performed along California Street in Jacksonville during the first weekends of December as part of the city's annual Victorian Christmas Celebration. - Jamie Lusch

'Tis the season for festivities

There's plenty to do to get you into the spirit of the winter season.

Feel like dancing? Dancing People Company will present its second annual Winter Solstice Performance and Community Dance. See details on page 8 or call 941-6282.

How about ballet? "The Nutcracker" has become an annual tradition in communities all across the country. On Friday and Saturday, Dec. 21-22, Ballet Rogue will present four performances of "Nutcracker" under the direction of artistic director Diane Gaumond Hyrst and featuring 45 local and professional dancers. See details on page 11 or call 779-3000.

Beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, the day of the Winter Solstice, Trinity Episcopal Church, 44 Second St., Ashland, will host its annual interfaith, candle-lit labyrinth walk in the Garden. At 6 p.m. all are invited to warm by the fire in the Parish Hall with hot cider and fresh-baked cookies. Leaders of various faith traditions will give short talks about light in the darkness. See details on page 25 or call 482-2656.

Gypsy Soul will present its seventh annual WinterSpring Christmas Benefit Concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, at the Historic Ashland Armory, 208 Oak St., Ashland. Call (877) 278-4842 and 482-3115. See story on page 10.

The Farm, 51 S. Stage Road, Medford, is holding a Christmas tree sale fundraiser with fresh-cut Dougs, Nobles and Grands for sale from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Santa Claus is at The Farm from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays and photos with Santa are available. Call 535-1316.

A fundraiser for the Bellview Grange and Peace Village Festival will be held Sunday, Dec. 23, at the grange, 1050 Tolman Creek Road, Ashland. The event will include a potluck dinner hosted by KSKQ from 5 to 7 p.m.; music by Tom Klinefelter and Anna Christensen of Montana Soul from 8 to 9 p.m.; music by the Frankie Hernandez Band from 9 to 11 p.m.; and a silent auction. Proceeds from the auction will benefit Peace Village Festival, KSKQ and Food for People. Admission costs $10. Call 535-3140 or 535-4700.

The 28th annual Christmas Holiday Feast, a buffet-style dinner for needy singles, seniors and families, will begin at 1 p.m. Christmas Day at the Grants Pass Community Center, 234 S.W. L St., Grants Pass. There also will be live music and dancing. Volunteers are needed to help set up, serve food and clean up. Admission is by donation. Call 474-2202 by Dec. 24 for reservations.

Strolling carolers will spread musical cheer in downtown Ashland from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; 1 to 3 p.m.; 3 to 5 p.m.; and 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 22. In past years carolers have come from Ashland High School, Havurah Shir Hadash, Unitarian Universalist Church and Annette Lewis.

For those who want to join in the singing, the Plaza in downtown Ashland is the place to be. Ashland Fellowship of Evangelical Pastors invites the public to come and sing Christmas carols from 7 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 23. And there will be public carol singing starting at 11:30 p.m. Christmas Eve on the Plaza. For both caroling events, participants are asked to dress warmly and bring flashlights. Song sheets for an hour's worth of music will be provided at the Christmas Eve event.

Free photos with Santa will be available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22 at the Chamber of Commerce, 110 E. Main St., Ashland, and Mrs. Claus will offer storytelling from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 23, at Ashland Springs Hotel, 212 E. Main St.

Karen Lovely and friends will be performing blues classics starting at 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, at Alex's Plaza Restaurant, 25 N. Main St., Ashland. Guests include Robbie DaCosta (of the Fabulous Fairlanes) on guitar and vocals; Marcella Ruikis and Lindsay "Miss Holler" Erdman, vocals; Brent Norton on guitar, J. Jorgensen on bass, Tom Stamper on drums and Gary Halliburton on keys. Call 482-8818.

Several plays are on stage at local theaters through the holidays. "A Christmas Carol" is playing at Barnstormers Theatre, Grants Pass; 479-3557. "Meet Me in St. Louis" is at Camelot Theatre Company, Talent; 535-5250. Oregon Cabaret Theatre, Ashland, is showing "Plaid Tidings;" 488-2902. Oregon Stage Works, Ashland, is presenting "Holiday Memories;" 482-2334.

If you'd rather stay home and catch up on some holiday TV programming, you're in luck. Frank Capra's 1946 classic "It's a Wonderful Life" starring Jimmy Stewart airs at 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 24, on NBC. The 1983 classic "A Christmas Story" plays in a 24-hour marathon of broadcasts beginning 8 p.m., Monday, Dec. 24, on TBS. The Hallmark Channel will present multiple broadcasts of Ernest Borgnine and Juliette Goglia in "A Grandpa For Christmas" through December. PBS will show "Nature: Christmas in Yellowstone," at 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 23, and "Elmo's Christmas Countdown," airs at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 23, on ABC. "Christmas with The Mormon Tabernacle Choir Featuring Sissel," will air on PBS on Dec. 24.

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