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Holidays merry and bright in Grants Pass

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Courtesy photo “Father Christmas” will visit the historic Schmidt House gardens at Fifth and J streets in Grants Pass Dec. 18. The Josephine County Historical Society will host the family-friendly event.
Courtesy photo “Magical Christmas Murals” and giant nutcrackers will be rolled out in late November in downtown Grants Pass.
Courtesy photo Twenty fiber-optic winter and holiday scenes light up Sixth and Seventh streets in downtown Grants Pass during the holidays, with dozens of nutcrackers standing guard.
Photo by Jim IngrahamThe Stillpoint Ballet Company will present “The Nutcracker Ballet” Dec. 11, 12, 18 and 19 at the Grants Pass Performing Arts Center. The dancers pictured, from left, are Erin Law, Sierra Geohring and Keziah Taylor.

The 2021 holiday season promises to be merrier and brighter than 2020, with most favorite events and celebrations going live. All in-person events will operate following COVID-19 protocols and social distancing guidelines. Masks will be required at indoor performances and events.

Downtown Grants Pass will be decked out in holiday style when the Evergreen Federal Bank-sponsored installation of the “Magical Christmas Murals” and giant nutcrackers is rolled out in late November. Twenty fiber-optic winter and holiday scenes light up Sixth and Seventh streets with dozens of nutcrackers standing guard.

Thanksgiving Day literally gets off to a running start with the Grants Pass Family YMCA’s Turkey Trot Nov. 25. Runners are invited to “strut’ their stuffin’” in either the 5K race or 2-mile fun run. Participants will run in 5-minute intervals beginning at 7:30 a.m. or 9 a.m. with a maximum of 50 racers in each wave. Entry into the 5K is $35 per person. Entry into the fun run is $20 per individual or $45 per family. Registration can be done in person at the YMCA, 1000 Redwood Ave., or online at www.grantspassymca.org.

Clarion Theatre Co. will present “Hatter’s Daughter,” a two-act Christmas musical with performances at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 27, and 3 p.m. Nov. 28, at the Grants Pass Performing Arts Center on the campus of Grants Pass High School, Eighth and Dean streets. The original play written by Grants Pass resident John Buckley Sleadd is set in the Great Depression and centers on Radiana Topps, a haymaker’s daughter struggling to find her self-worth and faith. The show features 21 songs: ballads, jazz tunes and harmonies performed by a men’s barbershop quartet. Tickets are $15 for adults and youth 12 and older, and $6 for children younger than 12. Ticket prices are reduced to $12 per person for groups of four or more.

The 19th annual Rogue Winterfest will be a virtual affair Dec. 2-5. Four days of festivities will be “broadcast” from the Bear Hotel in Grants Pass. The virtual gala and grand auction featuring 20 exquisitely decorated holiday trees and a giant gingerbread house kicks off the event at 7 p.m. Dec. 2, with “guests” bidding on the trees by phone, tablet or computer. Guests can also bid online during the virtual silent auction that runs through Dec. 5. Proceeds benefit Family Solutions, Kairos and Options of Southern Oregon. To participate in the auctions, guests will need to visit www.roguewinterfest.org to view and bid on items offered at auction.

The city of Grants Pass will host the annual tree lighting during the First Friday Art Walk Dec. 3 at the Holiday Plaza, Fifth and G streets. The celebration begins at 7 p.m., with Santa Claus greeting children from the North Pole via Zoom. The tree will be lit at 7:30 p.m.

Barnstormers will perform James Devita’s “Christmas Angel, Dec. 3-19 in the intimate theater at 112 N.E. Evelyn Ave., with performances at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 p.m. Sundays. A “quirky family” is visited by an even quirkier angel who helps them rediscover the meaning of Christmas amid chaos. Tickets are $18 per person.

A community Christmas Parade is set for 5:30 p.m. Dec. 11. More than two dozen floats will cruise the length of Sixth and Seventh streets and bring holiday cheer to local nursing homes. This event was a hit last year when volunteers scrambled to stage a community-wide parade after learning the city-sponsored event had been canceled.

The Stillpoint Ballet Company will present the 30th annual performance of “The Nutcracker Ballet” Dec. 11, 12, 18 and 19 at the Grants Pass Performing Arts Center on the campus of Grants Pass High School, Eighth and Dean. The curtain goes up at 7:30 p.m. opening night, Dec. 11. As a gift to the community, tickets are $10 for all seats. Additional performances will be held at 2 p.m. Dec. 12; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18; and 2 p.m. Dec. 19. Section A tickets are $15; Section B tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for youth ages 3 to 17, and for seniors 62 and older.

“Father Christmas” will visit the historic Schmidt House gardens Dec. 18. The Josephine County Historical Society will host the family-friendly event.