Richmond Nutcracker + Downtown Holiday Festival!
WHEN: Wed, Dec 18 – 4- 8pm. Richmond Nutcracker performances: 5-5:45pm & 6:30-7:15pm
WHERE: East Bay Center for Performing Arts
Richmond families look forward to the Downtown Holiday Festival each year as it transforms the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts into a Winter Wonderland filled with festive music, live performances, fun activities, holiday treats and that magical holiday spirit.
“The Downtown Holiday Festival is one of our most special events of the year,” says Alicia Gallo, Richmond Main Street programs & communications manager, partner in the Downtown Holiday Festival. “We have Santa visits, top notch performances, elves, interactive activities and lots of good will. Some families come back every year as part of their holiday tradition – and that feels really great! It feels good to be a part of partnership that creates opportunities for families to have access to this type of celebration in their own neighborhood.”
SF on the Bay sat down with Mac Layne & Talia Rossi who have been at EBCPA for a little bit over a year in development, grants and communications. We asked what they felt about their first year at the holiday festival.
Mac: “My first impression of the Richmond Downtown Holiday Festival is that it was really beautiful to see how much of the community comes out and loves it. It’s super sweet – about 500 folks with kids who are stoked!”
Talia: “We have Santa down in the theater – with holiday beverages and bites from local restaurants. My impression was just how much our community really appreciates what we do here. Families bring their kids to see Santa year after year, especially to see the Richmond Nutcracker. It Is really heartwarming.“
Visits with Santa and performances of the infamous “Richmond Nutcracker” are on the top of everyone’s “must see” list. Children visit with Santa for a photo opp. in the Community Theater and receive a goodies bag filled with small toys, arts and craft activities, fresh fruit and a candy cane. Upstairs in the Iron Triangle Theater, East Bay Center students perform the Richmond Nutcracker, a uniquely Richmond rendition of the classic ballet.
During the December holidays, the Nutcracker is a performance loved by so many all around the world and this one is definitely unique with music that is sometimes a remix of the classic Nutcracker Suite songs by Tchaikovsky. Richmond Nutcracker is a reflection of the center. Performers from classical ballet to hip hop classes do segments. “It’s definitely a Nutcracker with the Richmond twist to it,” chime in Talia and Mac. “A modern twist. It’s current – it’s what kids like!” Don’t miss it – it will put you in the holiday spirit, for sure!
The festival culminates with a procession from the center outside for caroling and the ceremonial illumination of holiday lights and tree along Macdonald Avenue (7:30-8pm). A parents’ volunteer group decorates the tree. Word on the street is that the Christmas Carolers are phenomenal.
About East Bay Center for Performing Arts
EBCPA has an onsite series of classes, certification programs, college advisory, serving 500 kids. Their offsite program involves artists who go out to the schools on a continuous schedule. Students don’t just have an occasional introduction to the performing arts. It becomes part of their curriculum. Community members often contract EBCPA students to perform for their events. Individual funders as well as corporate organizations help propel these wonderful programs.
Thank you SF on the Bay partners!