Try This: Holiday traditions abound

By Ashley Swanson, Columbian Features News Coordinator



Dance Fusion NW presents “Christmas Stories,” a production that combines classic storytelling with dance, theater and vocal performances, featuring tap, jazz, hip-hop and contemporary dance. The story follows a mother and daughter celebrating Christmas Eve in the midst of financial struggles, who find joy in each other.

When: 2 and 6:30 p.m. Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Where: Thomas Jefferson Middle School, 3000 N.W. 119th St., Vancouver.

Admission: $10, $5 for students, free for ages 4 and younger.

Telephone: 360-521-9973.

On the Web:

The dance performance is one of several entertainment options this weekend. Others include a theater production and a ballet.

Local choral groups at Festival of Lights

Catch the Evergreen High School Advanced Women’s Choir and Evergreen High School Chamber Choir Saturday at the Grotto’s Christmas Festival of Lights in Portland. The world’s largest Christmas Choral festival features five indoor concerts each evening in the Grotto’s 600-seat chapel, with a total of 174 concerts scheduled throughout the festival. The Grotto’s gardens have been decorated with more than 1 million lights. There will also be outdoor caroling, Christmas-themed puppet shows and a petting zoo.

When: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday.

Where: The Grotto, Northeast 85th Avenue and Sandy Boulevard, Portland.

Admission: $8, $4 for children. Donations of nonperishable food encouraged.

Telephone: 503-261-2400.

On the Web:

Seasonal traditions on stage

Loves Street Playhouse presents “Noel — Christmas Traditions,” which brings the words and sounds of Christmas traditions alive with songs, stories and poems accompanied by violin, piano and flute. There will be dessert during intermission.

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Where: Loves Street Playhouse, 126 Loves Ave., Woodland.

Admission: $10-$12.

Telephone: 360-263-6670.

On the Web:

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

Columbia Dance celebrates 14 years of performances of “The Nutcracker.” The classic ballet and holiday favorite tells the story of Clara’s Christmas Eve adventure in a magical world where toys come to life, snowflakes dance and the Sugar Plum Fairy casts her spell.

When: 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday; 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday; 2 p.m. Monday.

Where: Royal Durst Theatre, Vancouver School of Arts and Academics, 3101 Main St., Vancouver.

Admission: $18, $10 ages 12 and younger.

Telephone: 360-737-1922.

On the Web:

Sherlock Holmes is on the case

Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and Dr. Watson (Jude Law) return to solve the death of Austria’s crown prince. The crime is only part of a larger puzzle crafted by criminal mastermind Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris), who’s ruthlessness and intellect may give him an advantage over the duo. Holmes and Watson chase Moriarty across Europe in hopes of stopping him. “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” is rated PG-13.

Where: Battle Ground Cinema, 1700 S.W. Ninth Ave., Battle Ground; Cinetopia, 11700 S.E. Seventh St., Vancouver; various Regal Cinemas locations.

Admission: Varies by theater.

Telephone: Battle Ground Cinema, 360-666-7200; Cinetopia, 360-213-2800; Regal Cinemas, 800-326-3264.

On the Web:, or