Save the Date: Cue up Christmas with movies, concerts, a pub crawl, more

By Wyatt Stayner, Columbian staff writer



Everyone will want to say they’re from Ridgefield after this shindig.

The Hometown Celebration in Ridgefield occupies an 11-hour stretch, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. today, because that’s how jam-packed the happenings are. There’s an ugly-sweater run to kick off the festivities, followed by an arts-and-crafts bazaar and kid’s arts and crafts at the Ridgefield Community Library. There’s kid’s activities, visits with Santa, trailer rides, a live nativity scene, a tree lighting and an acoustic guitar concert featuring Doug Smith and Mark Hanson, a pair of Grammy winners, as well as Terry Robb, a perennial winner of the Top Acoustic Blues Guitarist in the Pacific Northwest. Festival events take place in downtown Ridgefield; free admission.

Yippie-ki-yay, it’s a “Die Hard” play. Debate no longer about whether the movie qualifies as a classic Christmas movie, and instead enjoy its adaptation to the stage by Portland’s Funhouse Lounge, which presents “Die Hard, the Parody Musical,” running through Dec. 30. Funhouse Lounge, 2432 S.E. 11th Ave. in Portland, has adapted classic television shows and movies such as Reservoir Dogs (“Reservoir Dolls”) and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” in the past, and for their version of “Die Hard,” director Andy Barrett has created 15 original songs. Performances start at 7 p.m. every Friday and Saturday in December, plus two 7 p.m. Thursday showings on Dec. 21 and 28; $15 to $85. 503-841-6734 or

Bravo! Concerts Northwest is reaching way back for inspiration for its 25th anniversary season, with “Handel’s Messiah.” George Frideric Handel composed his magnum opus in 1741 in London, and now it’s coming to Clark County more than two centuries later when the 40-voice Bravo! Northwest Choir, Northwest Chamber Orchestra & Soloists, led by conductor Maria Manzo, perform the piece at 3:30 p.m. Dec. 3 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 426 E. Fourth Plain Blvd. in Vancouver; $30, but students 18 and younger get in free with a paid parent or adult. 360-906-0441 or

How does a Christmas tree get even more holiday spirit than it already has? Fill it with people singing classic Christmas tunes. That’s the plan for the 45th Annual Singing Christmas Tree, where you can listen to the traditional songs of the season sung to you by people standing in a large Christmas tree from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at Vancouver Church (First Church of God), 3300 N.E. 78th St. in Vancouver. There is no charge for admission, but canned goods will be accepted for the Giving Closet, a local outreach ministry. Additional performances take place at 7 p.m. Dec. 8 and 9, and 3 p.m. Dec. 9 and 10. 360-574-1611 or

Throw on your dancing shoes for Contra in the Couve Seventh Anniversary from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Dec. 8. If you’ve got two left feet, stand still near the food and drinks. Taking place at the Hazel Dell Grange No. 1124, 7509 N.E. Hazel Dell Ave. in Vancouver, the contra dance group is hosting a celebration with calling by David Kaynor, along with music from the Euphemists. There will also be a potluck, with dancers invited to bring snacks, dessert and beverages to share. Beginner lesson at 7:30 p.m., dancing starts at 8 p.m.; $7, $5 for seniors and ages 12 and younger.

Time to make your outfit look as gaudy as possible. Go through your grandparent’s closet or hit your favorite vintage store in search of the perfect ugly sweater for the Ugly Holiday Sweater Pub Crawl from 4 to 9 p.m. Dec. 9 in Uptown Village on Main Street in Vancouver. No registration or admission fees needed. Just make sure you’re wearing your ugliest sweater and grab a map from one of the 12 participating locations (Vancouver Pizza Co., Doomsday Brewing, Trap Door Brewing, The Kiggins Theatre, Cellar 55, High End Market Place, Thirsty Sasquatch, I Like Comics, Tip Top Tavern, Peking Garden, Paul’s Elbow Room, Shanahan’s Pub), where you can receive drink specials. Some locations offer prizes, as well. 425-698-3236 or

Searching for something to do with the kids during Christmas break? Look no further than Winter Break Movies at the Camas Public Library, 625 N.E. Fourth Ave. in Camas, Dec. 20 through Dec. 28. Shown on a big screen with popcorn and all showtimes at 2 p.m., watch “The Boss Baby” (Dec. 20), “Cinderella” (Dec. 22), “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (Dec. 26), “Captain Underpants: The Epic First Movie” (Dec. 27), “The Lego Ninjago Movie” (Dec. 28). 360-834-4692 or