Try This: Holiday Happenings

By Ashley Swanson, Columbian Features News Coordinator



Legos will be used to help usher in the Festival of Lights during the annual Grand Hanukkah Community Celebration. The event kicks off with the Grand Menorah Lighting in Esther Short Park, followed by the construction of a 9-foot-tall Lego menorah, which will be built with 120 pounds of Legos in the Hilton Vancouver Washington. The celebration will also include music performances by the Eric Stern Orchestra, crafting an edible menorah from sugar Legos, hot latkes, donut decorating and a Judaica gift store.

When: 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

Where: Hilton Vancouver Washington, 301 W. Sixth St.

Admission: $7 to $10.

Telephone: 360-993-5222


The celebration is one of many options for getting out and about this weekend.

Singing in the season

The Vancouver USA Singers ring in Christmas with their holiday concert “Star in the East.” The performance will feature carols, chants and spirituals by the 100-voice community chorus, along with accompaniment by a handbell choir and hammered dulcimer.

When: 7:30 p.m. tonight and 3 p.m. Sunday.

Where: First Presbyterian Church, 4300 Main St., Vancouver.

Admission: $12, free for children younger than 12.

Telephone: 360-750-4752.


Winter beer for all

With a chill in the air, winter beers take center stage, offering seasonal warmth. The first Vancouver Winter Brewfest will feature more than 20 regional breweries and their winter beers. Participants include Vancouver’s Loowit Brewery, Mt. Tabor Brewing, Bader Wine and Beer Supply, along with such others as 10 Barrel Brewhouse, Burnside Brewing, the New Old Lompoc, Ninkasi Brewing, Widmer Brewing, Red Hook, Occidental Brewing Co. and Hopworks Urban Brewery. A portion of the proceeds will support the Vancouver Farmers Market.

When: Noon to 10 p.m. today.

Where: Esther Short Park, 610 Esther St., Vancouver.

Admission: $15-$35 for commemorative mug and tokens, $5 for non-drinkers.


Two shows offer holiday variety

The Va Va Voom Troupe presents “It Must Be Christmas Again.” The holiday variety show will include dancing, skits, jokes and musical performances, along with elves, Santa and Mrs. Claus. Music will be provided by the Santa’s Gut Bucket Band. The troupe is made up of people who are 50 and older.

When: 7 p.m. tonight and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Where: Emil Fries Auditorium, Washington State School for the Blind, 2214 E. 13th St., Vancouver.

Admission: $10.

Telephone: 360-546-5855.


Slocum Players present “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play,” turning the classic holiday story into a 1940s radio show complete with sound effects, commercials and Christmas carols. George Bailey sacrifices his dreams to help his town, but grows dissatisfied with his life. His guardian angel, Clarence, helps show George what life would be for his loved ones if he’d never had been born.

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

Where: Friends of the Carpenter, 1600 W. 20th St.

Admission: $12, $50 for dinner theater.

Telephone: 360-696-2427 or Tommy O’s, 360-694-5107.

Have a vintage, high-flying Christmas

Christmas arrives at Fort Vancouver and Pearson Air Museum as Santa Claus rides in a 1941 Ryan PT21 airplane and children create toys from the 1840s. At the Pearson Air Museum, children can send letters to the North Pole and pose for pictures with Santa in the cockpit. At Fort Vancouver, visitors will find caroling by the Madrigal Singers, toy-, wreath- and craftmaking, holiday storytelling and children’s games, along with blacksmithing and black powder demonstrations. There will also be costumed re-enactors for visitors to pose with in old-fashioned holiday scenes.

When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today.

Where: 1115 E. Fifth St., Vancouver.

Admission: Pearson: $7; $5 for seniors, active military members and students 6-17; free for 5 and younger; $22 for families, which includes two adults and as many as four children. Fort Vancouver: $3, free for those 15 and younger.

Telephone: 360-694-7026 or 360-816-6230.

Web: or

Romantic comedy is ‘Playing for Keeps’

George Dryer (Gerard Butler) is struggling to put his life back together after retiring from international soccer. Searching for a way to reconnect with his ex-wife (Jessica Biel) and son, George tries to redeem himself by coaching his son’s soccer team. But his quest is interrupted by the team’s soccer moms (Judy Greer, Uma Thurman, Catherine Zeta-Jones), who begin to relentlessly pursue him. “Playing for Keeps” is rated PG-13.

Where: Battle Ground Cinema, 1700 S.W. Ninth Ave., Battle Ground; Cinetopia Mill Plain, 11700 S.E. Seventh St.; Cinetopia Vancouver Mall 23, 8700 N.E. Vancouver Mall Drive; various Regal Cinemas.

Admission: Varies by theater.

Telephone: Battle Ground Cinema, 360-666-7200; Cinetopia, 360-213-2800 Cinetopia Vancouver Mall 23, 360-448-4100; Regal Cinemas, 800-326-3264.

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