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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Making a list? Festive events abound this holiday season

Get those calendars out. It’s time to plan your holiday entertainment lineup. From country icons the Oak Ridge Boys and the beauty of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker,” to the high-stepping kick line of “Traditions of Christmas” and the cabaret charm of “Christmas Unwrapped,” there’s something for everyone.

Kootenai Health Foundation’s Festival of Trees

Friday through Monday: The 30th annual event features Friday d’Lights, a brunch and gala (Saturday), family day and a children’s workshop (Sunday) and fashion shows at both lunch and dinner (Monday). Tickets for the brunch, gala and fashion shows are required and are available through Eventbrite. All events held at the Coeur d’Alene Resort Convention Center, 115 S. Second St., Coeur d’Alene.

Coeur d’Alene Holiday Light Show Cruise

Friday through Jan. 2: After a week of previews, the holiday light show cruise is ready to set sail for the North Pole.

During the cruise, families can enjoy more than 1.5 million holiday lights and visit Santa Claus and his elves at his toy workshop on the waterfront where Santa will speak to each child by name. The 40-minute cruise departs from the Resort Plaza Shops at 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Boarding begins 40 minutes before departure time. Tickets are free for children 5 and younger, $7.50 for children ages 6-12, $22.25 for adults and $21.25 for seniors, available through The Coeur d’Alene Resort.

‘Christmas Unwrapped’

Friday through Dec. 16: Every year, you can trust Ellen Travolta to bring a dose of holiday cheer to the Coeur d’Alene Resort via an original holiday production. This year, she’s packed music, laughter and holiday stories into “Christmas Unwrapped.” Directed by Troy Nickerson, “Christmas Unwrapped” features Ellen and Margaret Travolta, Molly Allen, Mark Cotter, Abbey Crawford, Patrick Treadway, Laura Sable and Lola Fridley. Performances are Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m. at the Coeur d’Alene Resort. Tickets are $27.50, available through “Christmas Unwrapped” is not recommended for ages 7 and younger.

20th Annual Small Works Invitational

Continues through Jan. 5: The work may be small, but the selection is huge at the Art Spirit Gallery’s Small Works Invitational. Browse work from dozens of artists at the gallery, 415 Sherman Ave., Coeur d’Alene, or online at There will be an artwalk from 5-8 p.m. on Dec. 14.

Spokane Art School Ornament and Small Works Show

Continues through Dec. 22: Here, too, is proof that small really can by mighty. The show features the work of more than 45 local artists, much of which is priced under $50. Attendees will also be able to purchase limited edition 50th anniversary ornaments Tybre Newcomer, a professor of art at Spokane Falls Community College, created for the school’s 50th anniversary. Spokane Art School, 811 W. Garland Ave.

‘It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Show’

Tuesday through Dec. 19: See the beloved holiday story staged as a live radio broadcast thanks to Laura Little Theatricals. Performances are Tuesdays and Wednesdays (except Dec. 12) at 7 p.m. at the Best Western Plus/Coeur d’Alene Inn, 506 W. Appleway Ave., Coeur d’Alene. Tickets are $15 for ages 6-12 and $20 for adults, available through or by calling (208) 391-2867.

Christmas Tree Elegance

Tuesday through Dec. 9: The annual benefit for the Spokane Symphony finds 18 prize packages up for grabs, each of which includes a themed, custom-decorated tree. Prize packages may also include gift certificates, various items and cash. Each raffle package – tickets sell for $1 each – is valued up to $5,000. Twelve trees and their gifts are on display on the mezzanine of the Davenport Hotel, 10 S. Post St., and six are on display on the skywalk level of River Park Square, 808 W. Main Ave. Ticket sales for the trees at the Davenport end Dec. 8 at 9 p.m. Ticket sales for the trees at River Park Square end Dec. 9 at 4 p.m.

‘The Nutcracker’

Thursday through Dec. 2: Santa Barbara’s State Street Ballet, with artistic director Rodney Gustafson, and more than 75 local dancers will bring E.T.A. Hoffman’s story of Clara and the Nutcracker Prince to life while the Spokane Symphony, conducted by Jorge Luis Uzcategui, performs the Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky score. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Dec. 1 and 2 p.m. Dec. 1 and Dec. 2. Tickets are $17.50-$82, available through the box office, (509) 624-1200, and all TicketsWest outlets. Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox, 1001 W. Sprague Ave.

Holiday Market

Nov. 30 through Dec. 2: Get your holiday shopping down early by stopping by Urban Art Co-op’s Holiday Market, which features pottery, jewelry, fiber arts, prints, 2-D art and fresh wreaths. The market is open 6-9 p.m. Nov. 30. Appetizers will be served, and there is a suggested donation of $5. The market is open Dec. 1 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Dec. 2, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is free Dec. 1 and 2. Urban Art Co-op, 3209 N. Monroe St.

‘Holiday Joy from Scandinavia’

Nov. 30 and Dec. 1: Join the Coeur d’Alene Symphony Orchestra and Chorale Coeur d’Alene for “Holiday Joy from Scandinavia.” The program, conducted by Jan Pellant, features Jean Sibelius’ Symphony No. 5, Antonin Dvorak’s Slavonic Dance No. 8, selections from Edvard Grieg’s Holberg Suite and George Frideric Handel’s Messiah, plus holiday pops, including “Carol of the Bells” and “Sleigh Ride.” Performances are 7:30 p.m. Nov. 30 and 2 p.m. Dec. 1. Tickets are $10-$20, available through Salvation Army Kroc Center, 1765 W. Golf Course Road, Coeur d’Alene.

Christmas Cabaret

Dec. 1: Pages of Harmony will sing holiday favorites, joined by guest quartets. There will be a turkey dinner before the show, plus a raffle, silent auction and a visit from Santa. $18; $10/students and children; free; children 6 and younger. 7 p.m. Valley Assembly of God, 15618 E. Broadway Ave., Spokane Valley.

Santa Breakfast Fundraiser

Dec. 1: Support Mobius Children’s Museum with breakfast, holiday festivities and a visit from Santa. SOLD OUT. 9-11 a.m. The Davenport Hotel, 10 S. Post St.

Northwest of Nashville Holiday Special

Dec. 1: This month, Northwest of Nashville host Jenny Anne Mannan, herself a multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter, will be joined by Emilie Miller, Kevin Morgan, Bob Riggs and Prairie War for a holiday twist on the Americana showcase. 8 p.m. $10, available through Eventbrite. The Bartlett, 228 W. Sprague Ave.

The Oak Ridge Boys’ ‘Shine the Light on Christmas’

Dec. 5: For the past 29 years, famed country/gospel vocal quartet the Oak Ridge Boys has ended the year with a tour that combines their greatest hits with its full-production Christmas show.

“We will sing hit songs for 40 minutes and after a short intermission our full production Christmas show takes over the stage with music celebrating every aspect of the holiday season, from Santa Claus to celebrating the birth of Jesus,” the Oak Ridge Boys’ Joe Bonsall said in a statement. “Our production is all new and fresh this year and we are more excited than ever to be bringing this very special family event to your town!”

Tickets are $47-$57, available through 7:30 p.m. First Interstate Center for the Arts, 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.

‘Re-Mix-Mas Carol’

Dec. 7: Sure, we’re familiar with the Grinch, Frosty the Snowman, the Little Drummer Boy and Mrs. Claus. But what would happen if all those holiday characters met as part of one story? The folks at the Blue Door Theatre are planning on finding out during the “Re-Mix-Mas Carol” show, during which they’ll take elements of well-known holiday stories and remix them to create new classics. “Re-Mix-Mas Carol” will also be performed Dec. 14, 21 and 28. All shows are at 8 p.m. and are rated for general audiences. Tickets are $7. Reserve your space through or by calling (509) 747-7045. The Blue Door Theatre, 815 W. Garland Ave.

Millwood Tree Lighting and Gingerbread Build

Dec. 7: Come for the tree lighting, stay for the gingerbread. The tree lighting takes place at 6 p.m., then graham crackers, icing and candy will be available so children can build the gingerbread house of their dreams. One gingerbread house per family, while supplies last. Free. Millwood Masonic Center, 3219 N. Argonne Road, Spokane Valley.

Crescendo Community Chorus Holiday Concert

Dec. 7: The Spokane-area children that make up the Crescendo Community Chorus will sing a variety of holiday songs. Donations accepted. 7 p.m. St. Stephens Episcopal Church, 5720 S. Perry St.

‘Traditions of Christmas’

Dec. 7-23: Every year, a huge cast of community members, larger than life sets, live animals and more than 400 costumes come together for “Traditions of Christmas,” a Radio City Music Hall-style show produced by Laura Little Theatricals that features a kickline, Santa’s workshop, a tribute to the military and a Nativity conclusion. Performances are Dec. 7, 14-15 and 20-22 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 8-9, 15-16 and 21-23 at 3 p.m. $21-$34. Tickets available through Salvation Army Kroc Center.

Post Fallidays Tiny Tree Festival

Dec. 8: Post Fall-area community leaders, nonprofits and businesses have decorated tiny trees, and now they’re up for the taking. At the third annual Post Fallidays Tiny Tree Festival, attendees can enjoy a brunch with a mimosa bar while participating in a silent auction for the tiny trees. Attendees can also buy a raffle ticket for a full-size, decorated “Super Tree,” which comes with Christmas presents. 10 a.m. $30. Register at Templin’s Red Lion Hotel, 414 E. First Ave., Post Falls.

Bing Crosby Holiday Film Festival

Dec. 8: As they have done each year for 12 years, the Bing Crosby Advocates have curated a selection of some of the beloved performer’s best movies for the Bing Crosby Holiday Film Festival. The day begins and ends with “White Christmas,” with showings at 11:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. “Pennies From Heaven” will be screened at 2 p.m., and “Road to Zanzibar” will be shown at 4 p.m. Howard Crosby, Crosby’s nephew, and the Hot Club of Spokane will take the stage at 6 p.m., performing music from the Crosby era. In between films, take in a gallery of Crosby photos and clips of him entertaining the troops in WWII. Tickets are $10 at the door, check or cash only. Children 12 and younger will be admitted free. The Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W. Sprague Ave.

Holiday on Pipes

Dec. 9: Listen – or sing along – to an evening of Christmas music performed by Ken Fuller on the historic Wurlitzer pipe organ and Carol Fuller on piano. 6 p.m. Free. Spokane First Church of the Nazarene, 9004 N. Country Homes Blvd.

Affiniti’s ‘A Celtic Christmas’

Dec. 9: Affiniti, the Irish trio of soprano Emer Barry, violinist Mary McCague and harpist Aisling Ennis, put a Celtic twist on holiday classics. The trio will be joined by special guests Howard Crosby (Bing’s nephew) and pianist Randy Kaping. 7 p.m. $13-$22, available through The Bing Crosby Theater.

Hospice of North Idaho Tree Lighting Ceremony

Dec. 12-13: The holidays can be a somber time of year for many, so Hospice of North Idaho is hosting a tree lighting ceremony, an evening of music and calm reflection in memory of those we grieve during the holidays. Each family will receive a special keepsake ornament. 5:30 p.m. Free. Dec. 12: Jacklin Arts and Cultural Center, 405 N. Williams St., Post Falls. Dec. 13: United Church, 525 W. Cameron Ave., Kellogg, Idaho.

‘A Christmas with C.S. Lewis’

Dec. 13: In this show, British author C.S. Lewis (David Payne) has agreed to welcome a group of American writers into his home. Over the course of the evening, he’ll share stories of the events and people who shaped his life and his journey from atheism to Christianity as well as his thoughts on the meaning of Christmas. 7 p.m. $15-$22.50, available through The Bing Crosby Theater.

The Singing Nuns: ‘Christmas Around the Globe’

Dec. 15-16: Spokane’s own Singing Nuns will perform holiday songs from around the world. The museum and gift shop will be open, and a shuttle service will be available at URM Gate No. 1 on North Freya Street beginning an hour before each show. 7 p.m. Dec. 15 and 2 p.m. Dec. 16. $12-$15, available through Mount St. Michaels, 8500 N. St. Michaels Road.


Dec. 15: Taking part in the international event, Spokane-area tuba and euphonium players of all ages will gather to perform Christmas songs. 3 p.m. Free. STA Plaza, 701 W. Riverside Ave.

Mark O’Connor and Friends: An Appalachian Christmas

Dec. 15: On his 2011 release “An Appalachian Christmas,” renowned violinist Mark O’Connor featured both classic Christmas songs and Appalachian-themed songs about things like a beloved hunting dog and passing a fiddle from one generation to the next. He’ll be joined at this show by Brandy Clark. 7 p.m. $28-$78, available through TicketsWest. Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox.

Spokane Jazz Orchestra

Dec. 15: The traditional big band and singer Jace Fogleman will team up to present the sounds of crooner Michael Bublé. 7:30 p.m. $23-$28, available through The Bing Crosby Theater.


Dec. 16: The Kantorei Chamber Choir and Collegium Orchestra directed by Timothy Westerhaus, will perform the George Frideric Handel oratorio. 3 p.m. $5-$20; free/children 12 and younger. St. John’s Cathedral, 127 E. 12th Ave.

Clarion Brass: ‘This Is What Christmas Sounds Like’

Dec. 18-19: This year, audiences will be the first to hear not one, but two new Clarion tunes: a traditional mariachi style of “Winter Wonderland” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” combined with a folk tune. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18: Salvation Army Kroc Center, Coeur d’Alene. Dec. 19: St. John’s Cathedral. $25, available through Brown Paper Tickets.

Holiday Pops

Dec. 22-23: There will be holiday classics, sing-along carols and even a visit from Santa at the Spokane Symphony’s Holiday Pops concert. Conductor Morihiko Nakahara and the symphony will be joined by soprano Lisa Vroman, the Spokane Symphony Chorale and Spokane Area Youth Choirs. 8 p.m. Dec. 22 and 2 p.m. Dec. 23. $27-$86, available through the box office, by calling (509) 624-1200, or all TicketsWest outlets. Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox.

Beethoven’s Ninth

Dec. 31: Wave goodbye to 2018 and hello to 2019 while listening to the Spokane Symphony, led by conductor Eckart Preu, and the Spokane Symphony Chorale, directed by Kristina Ploeger, perform Beethoven’s Ninth. More than 150 performers will take the stage, including guest vocalists soprano Kala Maxym, alto Amanda Glover, tenor Christopher Pfund and bass Steven Pence. 7:30 p.m. $13-$52, available through the box office, by calling (509) 624-1200, or all TicketsWest outlets. Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox.

Puttin’ on the Ritz

Dec. 31: Immediately following the symphony’s performance of Beethoven’s Ninth, head to the Davenport for Puttin’ on the Ritz. There will be a paparazzi-lined red carpet, a three-course dinner plus salad and dessert, music from MasterClass Big Band, a toast at midnight with complimentary champagne and party favors, and door prize drawings. 9:30 p.m. $130, available at or by calling (509) 624-1200. The Davenport.