Celebrate the holidays

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By Kirsten Laskey

The radio stations may already be playing holiday music and the big chain stores may already be covered with seasonal decorations, but in Los Alamos the season officially begins with MainStreet’s Winterfest.

The weekend, which is packed with holiday activities, will be held Dec. 5-6.

It begins with the Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Church’s nativity show, “Creches from around the World,” from 1-7 p.m. Dec. 5 at the church in Los Alamos. The show, which is free and open to everyone, will continue from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 6.

Following this will be the Dance Arts Los Alamos’ 13th production of “The Nutcracker.”

Shows will be held at 7 p.m. Dec. 5 as well as at 2 p.m. Dec. 6 and Dec. 7 at Duane Smith Auditorium. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for students and seniors, and $8 for children age 12 and younger.

The fun continues with the Kiwanis’ Breakfast with Santa from 7-11 a.m. Dec. 6 at the Betty Ehart Senior Center. The breakfast is free with a donation of canned food or money.

Young shoppers, those who are in kindergarten through sixth-grade, can get their shopping done during the Children’s Bazaar, which will be held from 9 a.m.-noon at the Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church.

The Los Alamos Geological Society’s Earth Treasure show will be held from 9-5 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Masonic Lodge. The show, which is free and features members’ collections, demonstrations, and vendors, will continued from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.

Adults can do their shopping at several art and craft fairs. The Knights of Columbus will host an art and craft fair from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church. The Art Center at Fuller Lodge will also be open for holiday shopping with its Affordable Arts Sale, which will be held from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 6 in the gallery shop.

For some entertainment, the Chamisa Singsations will perform at 10 a.m. Dec. 6 at Fuller Lodge and Roy Howard will present stories featuring history, teachings and songs that encourage values of the Character Counts program at 11 a.m. Dec. 6 at Fuller Lodge.

Dancers from the New Mexico Dance Theater will be next to take the floor at Fuller Lodge with their performance, “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” at 1 p.m. Dec. 6.

At 2 p.m. Dec. 6 at Fuller Lodge, Brenda Holingswoth-Marley will be telling stories, based on different traditions and placed in a cultural context.

Santa will be making an appearance from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 6, Dec. 13 and Dec. 20 at CB Fox.

A North Pole Workshop will be set up from 5- 8 p.m. Dec. 6 at Ashley Pond.

The Holiday Lights Parade, featuring a “A Storybook Holiday” theme, will be begin at 6 p.m. Dec. 6 along Central Avenue. So far, 12 entries will be featured. If interested in participating in the parade, go to www.laminstreet.com.

A special holiday Gordon’s concert, featuring South by Southwest will conclude the festivities at 7 p.m.

Jeremy Varela, events and marketing coordinator for the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce, said all these events have been individually planned and run for years, but what the MainStreet program has offered in a cohesive schedule.

He added the event is worth attending because “it gets people out and around town.”

“It gets people out talking with neighbors,” Varela added. “It get you out meeting people.”

Katy Korkos, membership services coordinator at the Chamber, added, “I think its just going to be a lot of fun and there’s going to be something for everyone,” Katy Korkos said, membership services coordinator at the Chamber. “Rock house, kids, shoppers - everybody will be accommodated.”

When the days get shorter and darker, it is important for people to gather together with some lights and music, Korkos said.

She thanked the Los Alamos County Ulitlies Department employees for spending their own time decorating the trees.

Winterfest does more than just spread holiday cheer; it also shows what is available locally for holiday shoppers.

“I think that the best place to start (shopping) is here in the downtown,” Varela said.

He added Los Alamos offers a lot of unique gifts that cannot be found anywhere.

“(We) really like for people to attend the holiday parade, tree lighting and Gordon’s Show,” Varela said. “(We also) encourage everybody to get out and see all the events and (we) encourage people to start shopping in Los Alamos and see what unique gifts they can get for family and friends.”