Holidays at a Glance

// Here are some choice Holiday happenings from Tacoma and beyond.

Belsnickle Faire

“Belsnickle Faire: The Darker Side of Christmas" is set to take over Freighthouse Square on Saturday, Nov. 30, as a way to showcase the dark origins of some of the now famous folk stories that have become the fodder of animated movies and musicals. “We honor the source of stories and embrace a ‘mouse’ free telling of diverse cultural heritages,” the effort stated. The Brothers Grimm would be proud. The day of storytelling, music, art, crafts, steam punk goodness as well as contests starts at 10 a.m. and runs until 7 p.m. Tickets are $7 for adults. $5 for Public Service discount with ID and $1 for children under 12.

Free kid's Santa photos for the first 100 paid adults through the door will be offered. Santa will be sitting for photos from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. The Belsnickle will be sitting for photos from 3-4 p.m. Santa’s Helpers will be standing for photos from 5-6 p.m.

Dickens Comes to Tacoma

The classic holiday story of transformation and redemption, A Christmas Carol, will be presented in downtown Tacoma in a performance that will be both single and singular. On Sunday, Dec. 1 beginning at 1 p.m. at the Knights of Pythias Hall, 926 ½ Broadway, which will host this free presentation of Charles Dickens’ ghostly holiday tale with a new twist: three experienced voice performers will read an adaptation of the story annotated by the author himself with some additional text restored from the full version, and only one of the cast of three will actually be in the Tacoma performance hall. The other two will be on Second Life to provide a clash between old-world storytelling and new world technology. The audience in Tacoma will see the virtual world on a large screen in the historical Pythian’s Hall, and view both the performers and the virtual audience as they explore a three dimensional environment called The Dickens Project.

Seattle Men’s Chorus: Play it Again, Santa

Seattle Men’s Chorus (SMC) borrows from the film classic Casablanca for their annual holiday extravaganza at Benaroya Hall. In Play it Again, Santa, Santa (not Sam) is at the piano and the out-of-the-way nightclub is much farther north – like at the North Pole! There will be eight Seattle concerts plus two outreach performances in Tacoma and Everett. For the first two Seattle concerts of their 34th season opener, SMC welcomes to the stage Tony award-winning pianist and vocalist Levi Kreis (Nov.30 & Dec. 1 only) as the guest artist. In 2005 Levi released his debut album and has since released five studio albums and performance recordings. In 2010 he received the Tony Award for “Best Featured Actor in a Musical” for his role as Jerry Lee Lewis in Broadway’s Million Dollar Quartet (he also appeared in the pre-broadway production at Village Theatre in 2007 in the same role). Levi’s powerful vocals and ability to ‘tear through a gospel song,’ along with SMC’s fabulous musical style, mean that it may be hard to stay seated at this season’s concert. Nov 30 – Dec 22, 2013. Info:

Fair Trade Christmas Market

Shop for the gifts that give twice at this annual fair trade market on Dec. 1, sponsored by Bethany Presbyterian Church. We are celebrating our 26th year! Vendors will have items hand made in Cambodia, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Guatemala, Nepal, etc. All vendors pay a fair living wage to the artisans who make these unique crafts. All proceeds go to the participating vendors. Activities are available for children while you shop. Cash, checks and most vendors accept credit cards. Visit for details and complete list of vendors. Further questions? Call (253) 752-1123

Fantasy Lights Walk

Fantasy Lights runs nightly at Spanaway Park, starting and finishing at the Sprinker Recreation Center parking lot, 14824 S C St in Parkland. Tickets are $13 per carload. For more information go to

Gig Harbor Tree Lighting

Join Harbor WildWatch to celebrate with the City of Gig Harbor at the annual Holiday tree lighting in Skansie Brother's Park at 5 p.m. on Dec. 7. Enjoy this event with family and friends, see live reindeer and welcome Santa on the firetruck at 5:30pm. Visit our booth to see the animals that live in the chilly waters of Puget Sound. Discover new life forms and find out how our behaviors impact these fragile critters. Come visit our touch tanks as we bring in the holiday cheer! Info:

Miracle on 34th Street

Originally titled Here’s Love when it opened on Broadway in 1963, Meredith Willson (Music Man, Unsinkable Molly Brown) later changed the title of the show to Miracle on 34th Street –The Musical and added his 1951 holiday hit song, It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas to the score. This classic tune, recorded by Perry Como, Bing Crosby and Michael Bublé, is one of many spirited songs in the score including: Pinecones and Hollyberries, Here’s Love and That Man over There is Santa Claus. Performances are Saturday Dec. 14 at 8 pm and Sunday Dec. 15 at 2 pm. Info:

Olympia Tree Lighting Ceremony

Join us at Sylvester Park for the official lighting ceremony of our Holiday Tree at Sylvester Park, 615 Washington St SE, Olympia, Dec. 1 at 4:30 p.m. For more info regarding Downtown for the Holidays, visit: or


Tacoma Little Theatre in partnership with The Changing Scene Theatre Northwest, the Kitsap peninsula's only fringe theatre, presents David Sedaris' irreverent holiday one-man show, The Santaland Diaries about a starving actor in New York City who reluctantly takes a job as an elf at Macy's Department Store. In what The New York Times calls "a delightfully thorny account of working as a Yuletide elf at Macy's," The Santaland Diaries follows our hero, "Crumpet," through a maze of terrified children, outlandish holiday shoppers, and drunken Santas. This production features Charlie Birdsell as "Crumpet," and isi directed by Pavlina Morris. For mature elves ages 14+ due to strong language and content. Two performances only: Dec. 12 and 15, at 7:30pm, All tickets are $12.00. Info:

Annual Old Town Tree-Lighting & Santa Visit

Celebrate the holiday season at an old-fashioned tree-lighting, complete with Santa and the reindeer! Come to the annual Old Town Tree-Lighting on Thursday, Dec. 5, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Job Carr Cabin Museum, 2350 N. 30th St. This free, family-friendly event is co-sponsored by Job Carr Cabin Museum and Old Town Business & Professional Association. On this special day, Santa visits the Cabin. Refreshments and pictures with Santa in front of Job’s fireplace are offered while supplies last. Learn more at


The 17th Annual KPLU Christmas Jam, 88.5 KPLU’s much-anticipated FREE holiday concert, features jazz vocalist Cheryl Jewell and her trio. Cheryl will perform Christmas selections with the University Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Dr. David Deacon-Joyner. The event on Dec. 5, from noon to 1 p.m., will be hosted by KPLU’s Nick Morrison and broadcast live on KPLU. An elegant performer and exceptional vocalist, Cheryl is a rare gem in the Pacific Northwest scene. Described as an "extraordinary singer, possessing precision and substantial—even impressive—range” she moves with seamless grace from swinging big band and jazz standards to soulful ballads. Her style reflects the passion of Dinah Washington, the finesse of Nancy Wilson and the blue-eyed soul of Eva Cassidy, as she captivates audiences with her pure, rich tone and stirring interpretations. Info:


Tacoma Little Theatre warms up the holiday season with its stage adaptation of Frank Capra’s classic film It’s a Wonderful Life by Anthony Palermo. The saga of George Bailey, the Everyman from the small town of Bedford Falls, whose dreams of escape and adventure have been quashed by family obligation and civic duty. George's guardian angel must descend on Christmas Eve to save him from despair and to remind him, by showing him what the world would have been like had he never been born, that his has been, after all, a wonderful life. It’s a Wonderful Life runs unit Dec. 22. Friday and Saturday showings are at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm. This show is recommended for all ages. Info:, or (253) 272-2281.

It’s a Wonderful Life in Fife

Few holiday events bring together a little bit of something for everyone in the family. But thanks to the upcoming “It’s a Wonderful Life in Fife” event, visitors to Louie G’s Pizza on Dec. 1 will enjoy the best the Christmas season has to offer. The main highlight will be an opportunity to meet Karolyn Grimes, best known as “Zuzu,” the youngest daughter of George Bailey from the iconic Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Grimes will not only speak about her experiences on the movie set along with inside info about the film, but she will also be displaying unique memorabilia, from film stills and call sheets to letters written by legendary director Frank Capra. Louie G’s will be offering an all-you-can-eat $7 pizza and salad special throughout the day, and a special screening of “It’s a Wonderful Life” will take place at 6:30 p.m. Grimes will share her own experiences during the filming starting at 5:30 p.m. The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Info:


Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium is holding its annual Zoo Lights from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. through December. Explore seas of dazzling lights and see breathtaking light displays of ice-skating puffins, playful tiger cubs, the massive flame tree and a Giant Pacific Octopus. Warm up in the steamy South Pacific Aquarium. Ride a camel and take a spin on the antique carousel. Tickets are $8.75.


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