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Many holiday festivities to choose this year in City of Trees

Friday, December 21

SCHOOL’S OUT FOR WINTER Claremont Unified School District students are officially on vacation at the end of the school day. Claremont schools will reopen Monday, January 7. Parents and caregivers looking for holiday-themed family events around Los Angeles can find some good info here: momsla.com/best-christmas-holiday-events-los-angeles.

GET ‘ER DONE If you need any 2018 business done, you might want to head down to city hall today, because Claremont’s city offices will be closed all of next week and for two days the following week, reopening in the new year, Wednesday, January 2, 2019.

EL ROBLE BAND IN THE VILLAGE Claremont’s free afternoon holiday music continues in the Village today with the El Roble Intermediate School Band performing at Laemmle Plaza from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

FREE CHRISTMAS CONCERT Families are invited to a free Christmas concert at 7 p.m. at Our Lady of the Assumption Church’s auditorium, 435 Berkeley Ave., Claremont. Sing along with The Messengers, a versatile ensemble offering traditional carols, popular hits, children’s favorites and some original compositions. Call (909) 626-3596 or visit olaclaremont.org for more information.

Saturday, December 22

FESTIVE SOUNDS IN THE VILLAGE Today is the final day of Claremont’s free afternoon holiday music in the Village. Nick Cassillas and Friends will perform from noon to 2 p.m. and Mark Dzula from 2 to 4 p.m. in Laemmle Plaza; Cool Yule from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. and Jackson Family Small Town Magic from 2 to 4 p.m. at the chamber of commerce; and the Inland Valley Repertory Theater carolers strolling throughout the Village.

ONE MAN ‘A CHRISTMAS CAROL’ AT LIBRARY The newly renovated Claremont Public Library, at 208 N. Harvard Ave., hosts a free and open to the public one-man performance of A Christmas Carol at 2:15 p.m. “The ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come, are characters we have come to love and welcome into our homes and hearts,” a press release read. “Join us as Broadway and film actor Duffy Hudson, without the aid of props or costumes while playing all 30 characters, brings this magical tale to life. Don’t miss this unusual take on a seasonal favorite.” More info is at lacountylibrary.org or (909) 621-4902.

Sunday, December 23

GIFTS FROM THE SOIL, INDEPENDENT TOIL The final Claremont Farmer’s and Artisan’s Market, which runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Harvard Ave. between First and Bonita, takes place today. It’s a chance to purchase some unique gifts, from farm fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers and plants, to artisan soaps, jewelry, clothing, juices, honey, nuts and cheeses. You’ll also be able to grab a coffee and a pastry at one of the many great spots nearby, and listen to some live music. It’s a guaranteed early morning win, and who doesn’t want to start their Sunday with a victory? More info is at claremontforum.org/claremont-farmers-market.

NATURE WALK AT BONELLI Frank G. Bonelli Park Nature Walks and Pomona Valley Audubon Society team up for a nature walk today at San Dimas’ Bonelli Park. The easy two-hour walk is for beginning birders on up to experts. The diverse habitat includes greater roadrunner, cactus wren and California gnatcatcher, along with raptors and wintering waterfowl. For time and location, call (909) 599-6526 or email warblerod@verizon.net.

SING-ALONG WITH ‘MESSIAH’ Continuing its 36-year tradition, Claremont Symphony Orchestra invites the public to its free “Messiah” sing-along, with 1:30 and 4 p.m. performances at Bridges Hall of Music, 150 E. Fourth St., Claremont. The orchestra will play part one of Handel’s beloved oratorio. Four vocalists— soprano Jennifer Lindsay, mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Anderson, tenor Christopher Anderson-West and baritone Robert Perlas Gomez—will sing the solo portions of the piece. Attendees may rent the lyrics for $5, purchase them for $10 or bring their own. More info is available at claremontso.org or (909) 596-5979.

Monday, December 24

REMINISCE WITH FRIENDS Local senior group Reminisce with Friends will meet at 10:30 a.m. at the Joslyn Senior Center, 660 N. Mountain Ave., Claremont. The event is free and open to the public. “Join us for another great session of conversation and storytelling, focused on a variety of subjects about the lives of the group and other unique topics,” a press release read. “Space is limited, so come early and often!” Refreshments and treats will be served along with a free lunch at the center afterward.

Tuesday, December 25

CHRISTMAS DAY FUN If your kids are grown, or you don’t have family nearby and are looking to take advantage of what may be a rare day of light traffic on Southern California freeways, there are a few fun spots that are open today. Among them are Santa Monica’s Pacific Park, with its roller coasters and carnival rides and attractions; downtown LA’s Pershing Square Ice Rink; holiday light displays on Thoroughbred Street in Rancho Cucamonga, at Riverside’s Mission Inn Hotel, and at the original Christmas Tree Lane in Altadena (on Santa Rosa Lane); and Winter Fest at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa. Hiking, biking and a road trip to the high desert, Palm Springs or Big Bear would also a fine way to spend the day. Whether you’re watching sports in your favorite chair, stuffing yourself with all manner of holiday deliciousness, or you’re out hiking Mt. Baldy, we at the COURIER wish you a lovely day.

Wednesday, December 26

YAY, IT’S BOXING DAY! Today is Boxing Day, and though that might not mean a thing to most Americans, it’s a big deal in the UK, Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, and other a few other European countries. Known as “Zweite Feiertag” in Germany (which means “second celebration”), it began in Middle Ages England, about 800 years ago. It was the day when church alms boxes were opened so that the contents could be distributed to the poor, a tradition that still continues in some places. It was also a day where servants were granted the day off to celebrate Christmas with their families. Prior to World War II, working people such as milkmen and postmen would make the rounds on their routes to collect their Christmas gratuities. Boxing Day has now become another public holiday in the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

SOLID ROAD TRIP Local “raw soul” singing drummer Solid Ray Woods is playing a free 8 p.m. show at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, in what is apparently becoming a post-Christmas tradition (Mr. Woods played Pappy’s last December 26 as well). Somehow, spending the evening in the California high desert listening to Mr. Woods’ soulful take on classics from Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers, The Band and his own compositions is a welcome sonic palette cleanser after all the glitzy noise of the holiday season. Pappy’s has a fantastic restaurant as well, and is a mere 90-minute drive east on the 10 Freeway, and on up Highway 62, to the funky 1940s film set known as Pioneertown, at 53688 Pioneertown Rd. More info is at pappyandharriets.com or (760) 365-5956.

Thursday, December 27

MANY HAPPY RETURNS Was you’re stocking full of ill-fitting pants, or maybe a well-meaning distant relative sent you a turtleneck sweater that just ain’t you? In years past you’d likely be among the teeming hordes at the mall, waiting in lines and wondering if it was all worth it (the return, not life in general). Nowadays though, we are more likely to be sending things back to Amazon, and there’s no need to sweat the mall to do that. In Claremont, Pomona College has several Amazon Locker locations that are open 24 hours: 260 E.  Bonita Ave.; 347 E. Sixth St.; at the Emett Student Center at 390 E. Ninth St.; and Rains Athletic Center, 220 E. Sixth St.

Friday, December 28

BROADWAY FLIPPED Ambitious local theater company Ophelia’s Jump, at 2009 Porterfield Way, Suite H, Upland, is putting on a fundraiser show, Broadway Flipped, A Miscast Cabaret, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35, and include dessert and a drink. “It’s not a secret: OJP has had some big bills come up and mama’s gotta pay the rent,” a press release read. “What better way to earn some dough than be singing for our supper! So we reached out to artists who have worked with us and asked them to do what every actor/singer longs to do—that one number that they would never get cast in but secretly practice in the shower, during solitary car rides, or over and over in their minds eye, that one piece that they know they could rock if they were only taller, fatter, thinner, louder, male, female or a believable dog. The result is hilarious, surprising, and sometimes magical. Join us for the fun.” Dessert choices are triple chocolate and salted caramel brownie, cheesecake with citrus puree, and brioche bread pudding with bourbon sauce. The show repeats at 8 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, December 29 at the Woman’s Club of Claremont, 343 W. 12th St. More info is at opheliasjump.org.

Saturday, December 29

TIME FOR VOODOO The City of Trees’ rock, folk, blues and country powerhouse Claremont Voodoo Society hits the stage at 10 p.m. for a free show at The Press, 129 Harvard Ave. The group, led by singer and songwriter Jerry O’Sullivan, “Lazy” Brad Lewis and harmonica master Bill Barrett, includes Roy Durnal on bass and a rotating cast of drummers. The band’s repertoire runs from scintillating originals (Mr. O’Sullivan’s “Pomona Queen,” Mr. Lewis’ “Body and Fender Man”), to a trove of unexpected covers (Ryan Adams’ “Pick Me Up,” Jolie Holland’s “Old Fashioned Morphine,” to name a few). It’s billed a “pre-New Year’s Eve celebration, ” so get there early and grab a table. It’ll be a good one. More info is at thepressrestaurant.com.