Winter Holiday Preview

    Here it is, the holiday calendar with something for everyone. From plays to concerts to parades, you can get in the holiday spirit by taking a study break or just waiting to see the events once your finals are all done.

    The two-day Balboa Park December Nights, from 5 to 9 p.m., starts on Dec. 5 and is a Christmas festival complete with caroling, choirs, parades and theater performances. The World Beat Center will also be out celebrating Kwanzaa with drummers, but the big draw for the festival will be a 35-foot-tall Christmas tree that is covered in nearly 18,000 lights.

    Charles Dickens’ “”A Christmas Carol”” plays at Lyceum Theatre at 7:30 p.m. The San Diego Repertory Theatre veterans bring the classic back to life with a traditional retelling of the Christmas favorite. The set design should be some of the best San Diego has ever seen, complete with a real ice-skating pond.

    For those of you looking for a not-so-traditional night out, check out 91X’s holiday event, Frosty the Show, Man, at 4th & B at 8:30 p.m. You can’t buy tickets, so you’ve got to either win them or go to a roving 91X Toy Store Stop. Listen for nine-in-a-row music sets at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to win. Scheduled to appear are Hoobastank, G. Love and the Special Sauce and Jack Johnson.

    The Ocean Beach Christmas Parade, Tree Lighting and Holiday Bazaar will be at the intersection of Newport Avenue and Abbott Street from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For those who have never made it far enough south to check out Ocean Beach, this event is well worth the effort. There will be live musical performances, sports demonstrations and other wintery pleasures. At about 5 p.m., the parade will get underway moving along Newport Avenue, and then at 7 p.m., the tree lighting in Veteran’s Plaza begins.

    The La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival on Prospect Street from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. is the event to attend if you want something nearby. Come out to shop, eat and listen to music. At 1:30 p.m. the parade kicks off with beauty queens, local dignitaries and marching bands. But beware of the parking nightmare that promises to hit you like a post-TJ hang over.

    Get into the spirit of Hanukkah with the Festival of Lights: The Menorah Show. The festival, which runs through Dec. 26, features a wide selection of menorahs, dreidels, candelabras and other Juddica items created by artists from all over the world. Ranging from traditional to modern, the pieces of arts are handmade from all sorts of material, including glass, wood and ceramic. For more information on the event, which takes place at the Gallery Alexander in La Jolla, call (858) 459-9433.

    Holiday in the Park in Old Town is the place to have some fun and find a present before going back to Mom and Dad’s for the holidays. Head down to Old Town and check out the decorations, live entertainment and shops. In addition, the Old Town Theatre presents “”La Pastorela,”” performed by the San Diego State University’s Master of Fine Arts Musical Theater Program. The evening of festivities starts at 6 p.m. and ends at 9 p.m.

    The classic Christmas play “”The Nutcracker”” is the perfect way to get into the spirit of the holidays. The play tells the story of Clara, a young girl who receives a nutcracker for Christmas. The toy comes to life in a dream and introduces Clara to colorful storybook characters. The ballet, performed to music by Tchaikovsky, will be put on by the City Ballet of San Diego and will be playing at the Sprekels Theatre through Dec. 14. To find out ticket prices, times and more call (858) 272-8663

    Holiday Jazz and Blues Festival will be in the Gaslamp Quarter from noon to 11 p.m. and it is the place to be for anyone who’s still around. Listen to jazz, blues, pop, R&B, hip-hop and soul holiday music all day and night while you look at the Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa exhibitions. While browsing, you might find a present or two. Also plan to grab a bite to eat at the wealth of shops and restaurants in the area.

    Admit it, you don’t want to stay at home with your family watching Uncle Ron get tipsy with the champagne. Escape the horror by heading over to Belly Up Tavern to ring in the New Year with the Rugburns. The award winning local band (who just landed a San Diego Music Award) launched the careers of Steve Poltz and Gregory Page. The pop-rock band, best remembered for their ode to cannibalism “”Hitchhiker Joe,”” have witty, humorous lyrics that will entertain and amuse all. Make sure you bring your ID cards, because this show is for ages 21 and up. For more information, call (858) 481-9022.

    There it is, folks. Now you can grab a glass of eggnog, gather around the fireplace, or take a seat on Santa’s lap ‹ just make sure you get out to at least one of these seasonal events. Have a good time and enjoy the holiday spirit that is abundant around town.

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