Celebrating the sounds of the holidays

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By Special to the Monitor

From the musical ballet, the “Nutcracker,” to the sounds of carolers singing holiday classics, Los Alamos will celebrate the sounds of the holidays with a number of holiday-related events, including the three-day “Winterfest” event, Dec. 3-5, and concluding with its New Year’s Eve “Fire and Ice” celebration Dec. 31.
The cast of the Dance Arts Los Alamos group will help kick off the holiday festivities with a presentation of Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic, the “Nutcracker,” at 7 p.m. Friday and at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Duane Smith Auditorium. Tickets are available at Los Alamos businesses, Dance Arts Los Alamos, CB Fox, White Rock Smith’s or at the Duane Smith Auditorium.
Call 672-9462 or e-mail office@danceartslosalamos.org for more information.
Also on Saturday, the sounds of Santa’s sleigh might be heard during the Christmas classic “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” performed by the New Mexico Dance Theater. The show is from 1-4 p.m. at Fuller Lodge.
Visit nmdt.org for details.  
Then at 7 p.m., also at Fuller Lodge, hear the “Best Brass of Christmas” as brass musicians from all over the country come together harmoniously to serenade music lovers with holiday ensembles. Fuller Lodge Art Center is located at 2132 Central Ave.
Since Los Alamos is comprised of a vast international community, more than 200 artfully diverse nativities by artists of many cultures will be on display during the 17th annual “Los Alamos Crèche Show.” The one-of-a-kind crèche show takes place from 1-7:30 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1967 18th St. in Los Alamos.
The show is free and refreshments are provided.
Also on Saturday, the Winterfest weekend starts at 1 p.m. with horse-drawn carriage rides available outside the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce at 109 Central Park Square. Following the carriage rides, Central Avenue will be transformed into a parade of sound and light with the annual Main Street’s Parade of Lights starting at 6 p.m. The official tree lighting ceremony will follow the parade near Ashley Pond, at 7 p.m.
Visit lamainstreet.com for complete details about Winterfest.
The holidays wouldn’t be the same without the buzz of shopping, which is why the Christmas Craft Fair is an opportunity to purchase one-of-a-kind gifts. The Fair will take place from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Hall, located at 3700 Canyon Road.
The “Affordable Arts Holiday Celebration” — Saturday through Jan. 3 — is a great venue to purchase affordable arts and crafts from over 120 Northern New Mexican artists. The opening show starts at 10 a.m. Saturday and continues to 6 p.m. at Fuller Lodge. Subsequent hours for the duration of the show are from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday.  Call 662-1635 for details or visit fullerlodgeartcenter.com.
Parents are invited to drop their children off while they shop for holiday gifts from 9 a.m.-noon Saturday at the Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church for the Children’s Christmas Bazaar. The bazaar is open to kids from Kindergarten through 6th grade.
Visit latoth.org for more information. Free babysitting is also offered from 10 a.m.-noon Dec. 11 from 10 a.m. at the Pajarito Environmental Education Center, where kids can learn how to create environmentally friendly holiday gifts using recycled materials and objects found in nature.
The craft session is $10 per child and offered to children ages 5 to 12. Visit pajaritoeec.org for information or call Katie Watson at 662-0460.
Take a photograph with Santa Claus and decorate cookies and crafts from 5-7 p.m. Sunday during the 10th annual North Pole Workshop and Luminaria Walk. The North Mesa stables at the Los Alamos Sheriff’s Posse Lodge will be lit with luminarias and lights. Dress warmly. $5 per person; proceeds benefit the Los Alamos County Scholarship Fund.
Contact Joseph Harris at 662-8173 for details or visit losalamosnm.us.
On Dec. 10, the Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra will host a free Christmas concert at Crossroads Bible Church.
The sounds of the holidays will fill the hearts and ears of visitors who attend the concert which takes place from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Visit http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/laso_nm/ for more information.
The sound of ice skates gliding across the County Ice Rink is a welcome sound and fun holiday tradition in Los Alamos. Skate with Santa and his elves on from 3-5 p.m. Dec. 19 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Los Alamos County Ice Rink, and pose for photos with Santa later. Call 662-8173 for details.
Then from 6-8 p.m. Dec. 24, skate to holiday music on the outdoor ice rink lit with the reflection of holiday lights under the starry night sky at the Christmas Eve Luminaria Skate at the Ice Rink.
The Los Alamos County Ice Rink is located at 4475 West Road. Call 662-4500 for more information or e-mail larec@lacnm.us.
Finally, on Dec. 31, bring in the New Year with the sounds of fireworks at the Los Alamos Fire and Ice New Year’s Eve Celebration, from 6 p.m.-1 a.m. at the Valles Caldera National Preserve. Fees include moonlit permit to cross country ski and snowshoe in the Preserve.
Reservations are not required. The Preserve is located at 18161 N.M. 4 in Jemez Springs.
Visit vallescaldera.gov or call 661-3333 for more information.

Best of Brass Concert

Please note that the Best of Brass Concert on Saturday evening, 12/4/10 is happening at 7:30 at the Crossroads Bible Church (NOT at Fuller Lodge).

Margaret McIntyre
President, Los Alamos Arts Council