Communities plan holiday celebrations

Several events in town this weekend will kick off the holiday season.

The Animate Objects Circus Cabaret comes to town Friday night.

The cabaret will start at 7 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center, 14 S. Cedar St.

Animate Objects Physical Theater, based in Seattle and Miami, will perform. In addition to stilt-walkers, aerial artists and dancers, the group will bring mimes, unicyclists, Jack Frost the juggler and more.

The group will also perform Saturday in Winthrop, where the town’s holiday festivities will continue with the Winter Wonder Circus Gala.

Hosted by the Methow Arts Alliance, the event will be at 7 p.m. at the Winthrop Barn, 51 state Highway 20. The gala is also celebrating 30 years of art.

While the Omak performance will be on stage, the gala in Winthrop “takes place all around you,” Methow Arts said. Tickets for both events are on sale online and at some local businesses.

• An ugly Christmas sweater contest is planned for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday by the Downtown Omak Merchants.

“Dig out your holiday sweaters or, better yet, make your own,” organizer Shana Hammett said.

A dozen downtown businesses will participate, with in-store specials, door prizes and refreshments planned. Two grand prizes will be awarded, one for best overall and one for best family.

Judging will be from noon to 3 p.m. in the former Ulrich Drug building, 27 N. Main St.

Grand prize winners will be in the Twilight Christmas Parade on Dec. 14.

• The fifth annual Festival of Trees will be from 7-9 p.m. Saturday at RockWall Cellars, 110 Nichols Road.

• A “Christmas in the Country” event is planned from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at Jackass Butte Trading Co., 25 Haussler Road.

Photographs, a bake sale and other items will be offered.

Hot cocoa, coffee and a fire will be offered to help people warm up.

• Okanogan Valley Orchestra and Chorus will offer its Christmas concert at 3 p.m. Sunday in the Omak Performing Arts Center, 14 S. Cedar St.

The groups will perform “Nutcracker Jingles” (the Nutcracker Suite intermixed with “Jingle Bells”), “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” concert suite from “The Polar Express,” “A Christmas Festival,” and more.

Admission will be charged.

Don Pearce will conduct the orchestra. The chorus director is Jonathan McBride.

• “The Nutcracker” will be staged Dec. 13-15 in the Omak Performing Arts Center, 14 S. Cedar St.

The Children’s Dance Theater production carries a Western theme.

The cast of 80-plus students will perform in the ballet. They include some Omak Middle School football players who will wage a fun battle against the Punk Rats and Rat King, director Lorrie Fraley-Wilson said.

Curtain times are 7 p.m. Dec. 13, 1 and 7 p.m. Dec. 14, and 3 p.m. Dec. 15. Admission will be charged.

• Children can meet Santa and Mrs. Claus at Santa’s House at the former Ulrich Pharmacy building, 27 N. Main St., Omak. Santa will be there from 2-4 p.m. and again from 5:30-7 p.m. The Omak Twilight Christmas Parade will be at 4:30 p.m.

Events planned in other communities include:

Brewster

The inaugural Winter Sky Lantern Festival is set for Dec. 20 at the city’s soccer field behind Brewster Elementary School, 503 S. Seventh St.

Tickets are on sale at participating businesses, Chamber of Commerce President Sabrina O’Connell said. People will present their tickets at the festival in exchange for a sky lantern.

The lanterns will be released to bid farewell to 2013 and herald the new year, O’Connell said.

Santa Claus will make his way down Main Avenue in a fire truck just before the event starts. He’ll arrive at the soccer field around 6:30 p.m. The festival will run until 8 p.m.

Other plans include a bonfire, live music and refreshments provided by local vendors.

Bridgeport

The Quad City Eagles will host its annual free Christmas dinner for the community at 1 p.m. at the hall, 1030 Columbia Ave.

Conconully

Conconully will host its annual Santa Snowmobile Parade starting at 6:30 p.m., Dec. 14.

Chamber of Commerce volunteer Lavina Nickells said the parade will start on Mineral Hill before heading into the center of town on Main Street.

There will also be craft activities in the Community Hall, 219 Main St., earlier in the day, from 1 to 6 p.m.

Malo

A holiday celebration potluck is planned for 6-8 p.m. Monday at the Malo Grange, 17548 state Highway 21 N.

Those attending are asked to bring family, a dessert to share and white elephant gifts for the gift table. The event includes drawings for gifts and Christmas carol singing.

Malott

• Santa will arrive in town at 3 p.m. Saturday aboard a fire truck.

A celebration is planned at Serles Corner, at the intersection of B&O Road and Old Highway 97. Folks are invited to bundle up and join the fun for the outdoor event, organizer Georgene Fitzgerald said. Warming fires will be available.

Stockings will be available for children, and hot cocoa and cookies will be offered to everyone. Santa will be available for photos.

A Christmas potluck and sing-along is planned for 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Grange Hall, 54 B&O Road.

The Grange will provide ham, potatoes and rolls. Guests are asked to bring a side dish or a dessert. The group invites anyone interested.

Non-perishable food items will be collected for the Grange food drive.

Mansfield

The United Protestant Church will host a Christmas tea and cookie exchange at 6 p.m. tomorrow. The church is located at the corner of Third Avenue and Morrow Street.

• The Chamber of Commerce will decorate the community Christmas tree at about noon Sunday, President Lisa Hull said.

• Residents can help make

sure children have Christmas presents by selecting a tag off the giving tree, located at the Town Bar and Grill, 34 Main St.

Gifts can be returned to the bar; they’ll be given to community children in kindergarten through fifth-grade, Hull said.

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