By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Winterfest in Downtown Fullerton. Fullerton kicks off the shopping season with Winterfest—imported snow, a fat-bellied Santa, food and crafts booths, drawings, a free bounce house, face painting, balloons, and snacks. The obvious purpose is to draw people into the city's downtown and get them to flash their plastic in one of the many gift, collectible and variety stores or sample the food and suds at one of the more than 40 restaurants and bars. It's a daylong deal that culminates with a 5 p.m. tree-lighting ceremony. Downtown Fullerton, one block east and west of Harbor Boulevard between Chapman Avenue on the north and Santa Fe on the south. Dec. 3, noon-6 p.m.
Holiday Antique and Collectible Toy Fest.Looking to replace your vintage Sigmund & the Sea Monsters lunchbox? Look no farther than your friendly neighborhood swap meet. For two days only, entry to the Orange County Marketplace will also get you into the Toy Fest, featuring the stuff of legends for children, collectors and losers of all ages—do you think they'll have Princess Allura's Blue Voltron Lion!? Toy Fest, Orange County Marketplace at the Fairgrounds, 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa. Dec. 3-4, 7 a.m.-4 p.m. $2; under 12, free. For booth information, e-mail email@example.com.
Roger's Gardens Ornament Signing. The holidays are the one time of year that you really want your garret/mini-mansion to look and smell its best, and for inspiration—aside from going whole hog and cooking a turkey—there is Roger's Gardens, South County's uber-nursery. Waterford master glass cutter Sean O'Donnell will be on hand from noon-3 p.m. signing Waterford crystal and ornaments. Roger's Gardens, 2301 San Joaquin Hills Rd., Corona del Mar, (949) 640-5800. Dec. 4, noon-3 p.m.
Holiday Expressions from Around the World. Orange County Museum of Art has collared "We Tell Stories," and guess what they do? Bring the kids for a live-action, interactive holiday version of It's a Small World. The museum also celebrates California's diversity-through art projects. Make a papier-mache toll road! Orange County Museum of Art, 850 San Clemente Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 759-1122; www.ocma.net. Dec. 4, noon-4 p.m. Free.
Twilight D'Lights Boat Parade.So you don't have a yacht. Or property on the harbor. Or money for gas to drive to the beach. All you really need is a set of wheels; anything from a wheelbarrow to a horse-drawn carriage. This year, the Holiday Celebration and Boat Parade starts outside Villa Park High on Taft, makes its way out to Patrician and out to Providence via Laconia. The high school band will only march the final stretch, down Santiago to the Town Centre.Town Centre, 17855 Santiago Blvd., Villa Park, (714) 998-1500. Dec. 4, 4-8:30 p.m.Hot Rod Toy Drive.The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum celebrates its final 2005 Twilight Cruise Night with its annual Toy Drive. The best toy of all is a reproduction of the 1929 Ford Roadster once owned by Wally Parks, 1992 inductee into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and founder of professional drag racing. It's to be presented to, of all people, the 92-year-old Wally Parks. With nitrous-charged ambulances standing by, participants hope to collect two stake trucks full of toys for disadvantaged children in Pomona Valley. Imagine the joy of the children if you gave them the '29 Ford or, better yet, the proceeds of its sale. NHRA Motorsports Museum, 1101 W. McKinley Ave., Bldg. 3-A, Pomona, (909) 622-2133; www.museum.nhra.com. Dec. 7, 4:30-8 p.m.Fiesta Navidad. In high school, my biology teacher loved Christmas music so much he played a different tape every day during December. We heard the Jackson Five, the Drifters, the Ronettes and, most memorably, James Brown, whose "Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto" remains America's greatest contribution to the celebration of the Nativity. Because Mr. Brennan didn't own any Spanish-language Christmas songs, he always urged his Mexican students to check out the Orange County Performing Arts Center's "Fiesta Navidad" program. Now in its 11th year, "Fiesta Navidad" features Nati Cano and Mariachi Los Camperos along with special guest Linda Ronstadt as they sing such traditional Mexican Christmas songs as . . . um, you got me there. See, all my parents ever played was the Chipmunks Christmas album. Orange County Performing Arts Center, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa, (714) 556-2787; www.ocpac.org. Dec. 7-8, 7:30 p.m. $20-$95.Pacific Symphony's Hollywood Holiday Spectacular.I like show tunes almost as much as I like actresses with enormous lung capacities. With music from Miracle on 34th Street, It's a Wonderful Lifeand other Christian/socialist propaganda, our own OC pops promises a pleasant if saccharine scene at the Performing Arts Center. Orange County Performing Arts Center, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa, (714) 556-2787; www.ocpac.org. Dec. 9-10, 8 p.m. $28-$106.
La Posada Mágica.Playwright Octavio Solís first staged La Posada Mágica in 1993 as part of SCR's Hispanic Playwrights Project, an initiative that groomed influential Latino playwrights such as Pulitzer Prize-winning Nilo Cruz, José Rivera and Solís. I like it not so much for its Mexican spin on Dickens (in this case, a young chica regains her faith by joining a posada, a Latin American Christmas tradition that re-creates Joseph and Mary's arduous search for lodging in Bethlehem) but for its confirmation that, sometimes, affirmative action is a good thing. But SCR abruptly stopped the Hispanic Playwrights Project last year, with no further plans to nurture Latino playwrights. Enjoy La Posada Mágica, and then ask SCR to bring back the Hispanic Playwrights Project, no? South Coast Repertory, 655 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa, (714) 708-5555; www.scr.org. Dec. 9-24. Call for times. $15-$35.