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Thursday 13

CREATIVE KEEPSAKES. Few things are as special as a Christmas tree ornaments. Each year the opening of decoration boxes brings a flood of memories and wistful smiles.

At least that's how I see things this warm and fuzzy time of year. If you're a friggin' scrooge, skip this item.

Tohono Chul's Holiday for the Park is a very special annual exhibit and ornament sale that supports Tohono Chul Park and its programs. This year, more than 60 Arizona artists made and donated ornaments and seasonal decorations for the exhibit.

What should you watch for this year?

The exhibit features several finely stitched ornaments made by members of the needle and fiber art guilds who participated in the Our Favorite Things exhibit last winter.

You will also find funky ornaments made from recycled materials and a wide variety of clever and creative decorations made by first-time participants and by artists whose offerings have become favorites over the years.

The cool weather, combined with the beauty of the foliage, the exhibits, the fabulous shopping in the museum shops, dining on the Tea Room patio and the added holiday decorations and entertainment make for a very special evening at Tohono Chul Park.

For more information, call 742-6455 or visit www.tohonochulpark.org.


Friday 14

FIND SOME LIGHT. Looking for a little magic to brighten the darkening season?

Ready for a fresh, new and meaningful experience for this holiday season? One you can share with your family and friends?

Then join Zuzi! Move It Dance Company for its fourth annual Solstice Celebration. Celebrate the season of shadow and light with Zuzi's unique, multi-generational performance of dance, poetry, music and light.

Glowing lantern dances illumine the way through this evening-length performance that features a magically lit full-moon set and mysterious kiva ladders.

In addition to choreography by company co-directors Nanette Robinson and Nancy Mellan, company dancer Beth Braun has choreographed an aerial dance trio to original music by local artist Arthur Miscione. Also featured are slide projections by Jeffrey Brooks.

This year's Solstice Celebration reflects the continued growth, creativity and community values of this emerging modern-dance company and its theater.

The show begins at 8 tonight through Sunday at Zuzi's Little Theater, 738 N. Fifth Ave. Tickets cost $10 general admission, $7 students and seniors. For more information, call 629-0237.

TAKE YOUR PICK. Bisbee Repertory Theatre's offering a couple of great reasons to plan a visit.

A Christmas Carol is running in repertory with a charming romantic comedy, First Night, which is set on New Year's Eve.

A Christmas Carol is performed by BRT's talented multi-generational company, ranging from young Bailey Vincent as Tiny Tim, through teens Robert and Elizabeth Owens, to Damion playing Marley's Ghost.

First Night by Jack Neary is a charming and witty romantic comedy starring Carlene Ballard and Lugh, both talented BRT veterans. The show is set in a video store shortly before midnight on New Year's Eve.

Ballard plays Meredith O'Connor, a possibly soon-to-be-ex-nun who returns to her home town to try to revive a momentary relationship begun 20 years ago with Danny Fleming. Danny, a movie geek played by Lugh, hasn't gone far from home and treasures his quiet times at the video store. In the moments before the New Year, they reminisce, challenge each other and might or might not walk off into a romantic cinematic future.

First Night performances are 7:30 tonight and December 22, 28 and 29 with a special final performance on New Year's Eve. A 3 p.m. matinee is Sunday. A Christmas Carol performances are 7:30 p.m. Saturday and December 21. Matinees at 3 p.m. are planned for December 23 and Christmas Eve.

Advance tickets for either show cost $10 at Atalanta's Music and Books and the Chamber of Commerce in Bisbee, in Sierra Vista at the Chamber of Commerce and the Oscar Yrun Community Center, at Fort Huachuca's MWR box office, and at the Tombstone Pharmacy. Tickets cost $12 at the door for adults and $5 for students. For more information, call 520-432-3786.

A FESTIVE FAMILY SHOW. It's Christmas Eve, 1860, and the wagon train has stopped at Hidden Valley.

Little Hannah isn't happy, though. She's worried her letter to Santa won't make it in time. She brightens when she learns that this Christmas all letters to the big guy are being delivered by none other than Little Cody of the Pony Express.

The Crystal Palace Players carry on their "all-singing, all-dancing" tradition with plenty of upbeat holiday numbers in Westward Ho! Ho! Ho!

Take the family to Hidden Valley Inn for a cowboy Christmas roundup this year.

The show runs through December 24 at Hidden Valley. Dinner is served beginning at 5:50. Show admission costs $13.95 adults, $8.95 children 12 and under. Dinner entrées start at $7.95 and kids eat on the cheap with a special low-priced menu. For show times and reservations, call 299-4941.

THE PEOPLE'S POETRY. The New Subterraneans are ready to rock your world.

If you're a poetry lover, that is.

Jack Evans, Wilson Scott, Tracy Thomas and Trish (just Trish) are visiting Tucson tonight, one stop on their Swallowing Stones Tour, which began in September in Phoenix.

These poets, who have more than 40 years' collective experience in the spoken word, have been performing together for the past year or so. While most of their work is performed in Phoenix, they have been seen in Tucson at the Dinnerware Gallery.

Exciting, powerful, moving and entertaining, the New Subterraneans present the people's poetry.

Tonight's performance begins at 6 at New Life Cafe, 4841 E. Speedway Blvd. For more information, call 360-5269.


Saturday 15

CHRISTMAS COOKS. It's hot, hot, hot. Those feisty TKMA folks are at it again.

In case you didn't know, TKMA is Tucson Kitchen Musicians and their holiday bash this year features Trim the Velvet, Damaris and Damaris, John Coinman Trio, the Determined Luddites, Elise Greco and a grand finale led by members of the Titan Valley Warheads.

Along with an evening of music, organizers have cooked up a silent auction, the proceeds of which will go to helping Mike Landwehr with medical bills.

And of course you'll find the traditional turkey chili and corn muffins for sale as well as beverages and desserts.

The Winter Holiday Party is from 6 to 11 tonight at Unitarian Universalist Church's Gaddoard Hall, 4831 E. 22nd St. Tickets cost $8 at the door, $7 if you're a member of KXCI, TKMA or TFTM. To donate something for the auction, call Mary Buckley at 323-6516. For more information about the party, call Beth at 319-8599.

PATHFINDER PLAYOFFS. These guys never have trouble finding their way.

This month's Tucson Orienteering Club gathering features the best of the best, competing in the state championships, which will be a Pacific Region ranking meet.

Beginners are always welcome and encouraged to attend. A free beginner's clinic covering the basics of the sport is offered before the event starts, usually at about 9:15 a.m. Just bring a compass and whistle, both of which may be rented at the event for $1 each.

The event will be held on Saturday and Sunday at Catalina State Park. There will be several courses set at different skill levels from beginning to advanced. Costs are $3 individuals ($8 nonmembers) and $5 team ($10 nonmembers). The entrance to Catalina State Park is on Oracle Road, six miles north of the intersection of Oracle and Ina roads. The state park day-use fee iss $4 per car. For more information visit www.go.to/tucsonorienteering or call 323-0936 or 512-4685.

BETTER NOT WAIT. Young voices will soon be filling St. Michael's and All Angels Church, but if you don't have tickets, better grab the phone.

Just 300 tickets are available for tonight's Tucson Boys Chorus program at St. Michael's, a Joesler-designed, pueblo style church considered one of Tucson's architectural landmarks.

The concert begins at 5 p.m. at the church, 602 N. Wilmot Road, at the end of Fifth Street. Tickets cost $10 adults, $5 kids 10 and under. All proceeds from the event will go to the parish day school. For tickets or more information, call 722-8478.


Sunday 16

OUT GO THE LIGHTS. Reid Park Zoo's annual Festival of Lights is all over after tonight, so if you haven't seen it yet, saddle up the reindeer.

Jingle bells, hot cocoa and Santa add to the atmosphere created by more than 50 decorated trees.

The Festival of Lights is 6 to 8 p.m. Admission costs $3 adults, 50 cents kids. Admission is free with a toy for Toys for Tots.


Monday 17

FELIZ NAVIDAD. The director of Ballet Folklorico San Juan and creator of Viva Arizona has drummed up something special for the holidays.

Julie Gallego's Fiesta Feliz is an inspiring celebration of the season in Old Mexico.

This is a show filled with vibrant colors, music and dance. Fiesta Feliz brings to life the pageantry of Las Posadas, the breaking of the Christmas piñata and other traditions.

More than 100 dancers from Tucson's Ballet Folklorico San Juan and Ballet Folklorico Arizona will perform. Special guests Mariachi Los Changuitos Feos and Jaime Ballestaero's Mariachi Tierra del Sol also are on the slate for what's sure to be a great time.

The event begins at 7 p.m. at the Tucson Convention Center Music Hall, 250 S. Church Ave. Tickets cost $5 to $10 and are available at the box office or by calling Ticketmaster at 321-1000. For more information, call 544-9543.


Tuesday 18

TALKING DIRTY. Learn a little more about garden goings-on.

Bert Detwiller will present a free lecture today called Raising Iris. Arrive early to visit the gardening display, speak with gardening experts, purchase organic items at the mini-market and enjoy refreshments.

Doors open at 7 p.m. at St. Mark's Presbyterian Church's Knox Room, 3809 E. Third St. The Tucson Organic Gardeners' talk begins at 7:30. For more information, call 670-9158.


Wednesday 19

GOOD OLD CELEBRATION. Even a nasty gunslinger couldn't help but smile riding into Old Tucson this time of year.

Beneath the glow of three miles of holiday lights, Old Tucson Studios presents its third annual Winter West Fest: An Old-Time Christmas, which runs through January 1.

The event celebrates the Christmas holiday and features live shows, old-fashioned carolers, community choirs, shopping and foods for an unforgettable family evening.

Throughout the park, guests can experience elaborate lighting displays in Old Tucson Studios' 1800s version of a winter wonderland. The usual attractions will be operating during this event. Additional attractions include a children's Candy Cane Lane, Jingle Bell Parade, tree lighting ceremony, horse-drawn hayrides and holiday treats.

The event is from 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Tickets cost $14.95 adults, $9.45 kids 4 to 11 and free for kids 3 and under.

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