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NutcrackerExperience the magic of Tchaikovsky’s classic holiday adventure and a Flagstaff tradition, when the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra presents The Nutcracker this Friday and Saturday evenings, 7:30 p.m. A sparkling party, a dramatic battle, and a whimsical journey to the Land of Sweets are all brought to life through captivating choreography and one of the greatest symphonic scores ever written.  At Northern Arizona University’s Ardrey Auditorium.

Tickets are priced according to their location in the auditorium.  For the best concert experience, purchase and pick up tickets before concert night.  Tickets available at NAU’s Central Ticket Office; Phone: (928) 523-5661, (888) 520-7214.  Single tickets in advance, $20 – $70.

Special pricing:  Student Rush tickets (with valid I.D., cadenza seating only) are $8 during concert week.  Educators and military personnel – $15 in cadenza seating.  Any seat in the house for children 18 and under accompanied by adult is half price.  ($2 service charge for tickets purchased the night of the concert.)

The annual Lollipop Concert, underwritten by the Flagstaff Symphony Guild, is an enduring and popular tradition.  It features an abridged and kid-friendly version of The Nutcracker for children of all ages.  A holiday sing-along closes the show.  It’s a Saturday matinée at 2:00 p.m.  A few tickets were still available as of this writing.  $10 all adults, all children FREE, limit 5 free tickets per order.  Phone order fees apply, no refunds or exchanges.  Call the Central Ticket Office: (928) 523-5661


 

Miracle on 34th StreetAlso, opening on Friday evening, Theatrikos Community Theatre presents a stage rendition of the holiday classic Miracle on 34th Street.  By chance, Kris Kringle, an old man in a retirement home, gets a job working as Santa for New York City’s Macy’s Department Store.  Kris unleashes waves of good will with Macy’s customers and the commercial world of New York City. However, he’s seen as deluded and dangerous by Macy’s vocational counselor, who plots to have Kris sent to Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital.  The play climaxes when Kris Kringle ends up in court defending his sanity.  Especially at stake is one little girl’s belief in Santa.  Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 2:00 p.m.  Tickets online or at the Theatrikos Box Office: (928) 774-1662.  Dates through December 20th.  December 21st is sold out: get your tickets NOW!


 

This weekend, Saturday (10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) and Sunday 12:00 – 4:00 p.m., the Fine Craft Sale at the Coconino Center for the Arts features 18 local artists in a marketplace setting with one-of-a-kind, handmade works, perfectly timed with affordable prices for your holiday gift giving.  Buy local and buy from the artists!  Includes artist demonstrations, hot cider and cookies, and a Christmas tree with affordable ornaments as well.

On Saturday morning, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m., there’s the annual Christmas Party for Kids at Riordan Mansion State Park’s Visitor Center (409 W. Riordan Road). Santa will be on hand, and Mrs. Claus will read holiday stories.  Crafts to take home and refreshments.  It’s FREE.

Holiday Tours of Riordan Mansion are underway.  See turn-of-the-century décor, with a towering fir tree trimmed with old-fashioned ornaments.  Guided tours include glimpses of folklore and traditions of Christmas, both past and present.  Reservations are recommended.  Regular admission rates apply.  Thursdays through Mondays, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  Closed Christmas Day.  (928) 779-4395

The Holiday Craft Show hosted by the Knowles Elementary School PTO (formerly hosted at Sinagua) on Saturday is the place to shop, with more than 70 quality craft vendors.  Free to get in.  Crafts for the kids while you shop, for just $1.  9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.  Tickets available for raffle prizes all day long.  (Knoles Elementary School – 4005 E. Butler Ave.)

The Flagstaff School of Music hosts its Winter Music Recital on Saturday at 10:00 a.m.  Students will showcase their favorite holiday tunes along with other favorite pieces.  At Peace Lutheran Church, at the top of Fourth Street.  Admission is free.  Refreshments after recital.

Flagstaff Recreation Services hosts its Winter Wonderland Celebration on Saturday afternoon beginning at 4:00 p.m. at The Flagstaff Aquaplex (1702 N. Fourth Street).  Admission is free through 8:00 p.m.  Enjoy holiday crafts, festive music, hot cocoa and cookies. Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus by the fireplace, enjoy the special holiday-tree-themed climbing wall; there’s a holiday movie in the pool, a bounce house and kiddie caboose.  At 5:15 p.m., Mayor and Santa travel by fire truck to Heritage Square to light the Christmas tree.  Santa returns to the Aquaplex at 6:15 p.m. for visits and pictures.  Bring a can of food for the food drive.

On Sunday afternoon, enjoy the NAU Orchestras and Phoenix Youth Symphony in Concert as they perform Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, and Haydn’s C major Cello Concerto with Dr. Mary Ann Ramos as soloist.  At NAU’s Ardrey Auditorium, 3:00 p.m.  Tickets: General admission is $8, seniors $5, free with NAU student ID or for those 17 and under.

Little America’s Holiday Lights and North Pole Experience continue.  Also, with what’s become a classic holiday tradition, the Grand Canyon Railway’s Polar Express comes to life on a railroad journey from the nighttime wilderness of nearby Williams, Arizona, to the enchanted beauty of “the North Pole.” Get complete details.