Straw Hat Players host night visitors

Since its first performance on NBC Television on Christmas Eve, 1951, “Amahl and the Night Visitors” has taken its place as a holiday classic.

The Oregon Straw Hat Players (OSHP) will be performing “Amahl and the Night Visitors” at 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 19, and again on Sunday, Dec. 21, as part of the 10:30 a.m. worship at People’s United Methodist Church, 103 N. Alpine Pkwy.

This performance tells the story of the night the three kings, following the star to Bethlehem, stop for shelter at the home of Amahl, a poor, crippled shepherd boy who lives with his widowed mother. Inspired by the wise men’s tale of a kingdom built on love alone, Amahl offers his own simple gift to the child they seek.

In this warm and compassionate story, opera composer Gian Carlo Menotti captures the essential spirit of Christmas.


Cookie decorating

Kids from the Oregon Youth Center volunteered their time Thursday, Dec. 4, to decorate Christmas cookies at the Oregon Senior Center.


Dancing into ‘The Nutcracker Dream’

The Nutcracker Dream
Dancers from A Leap Above dance studio showed off their holiday ballet skills this weekend with "The Nutcracker Dream." The show, which features no dialogue but only dancing, follows a young girl, Clara, and her eventful dream of adventure with her new nutcracker doll she received for Christmas.

A stunning ‘Snow Queen’ production

Playtime Productions put on a show of “The Snow Queen” on Friday, Dec. 5, at Rome Corners Intermediate School. The production told the adapted Hans Christian Anderson tale. 


Santa comes to Brooklyn Saturday

The Brooklyn Area Chamber of Commerce invites the community to its 14th annual Santa Day at a new time this year.

Santa Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 13. 

The event will be held in the lower level of the Community Building. Visitors can enter from the Hotel Street street-level door. Santa will be available the entire time for photos.

The chamber has added a couple of new activities this year. The Methodist Church is serving lunch, and a local professional photographer will be taking pictures and can print out a picture for $5 while you wait.

The free re-gifting center will be provided by Brooklyn Community United Methodist Church. Children can shop for family members. Free gift wrapping will be available.


Tree Lighting 2014 photos

Oregon lit up its holiday tree Friday, Dec. 5, and plenty of people were on hand to enjoy the ceremony and the party that followed at the BMO Harris Bank. Photos by Mark Ignatowski.


Indie-folk concert is Dec. 13

Photo submitted. Singer/songwriter JJ Heller will perform at 6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 13, at People’s United Methodist Church.

JJ Heller, singer/songwriter, author and mom, will be treating concert attendees to an intimate evening of story and song at 6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 13. Best known for her indie-folk style of music, she will be joined by husband and fellow musician, Dave Heller.

Held at People’s United Methodist Church, the family-friendly concert will feature a variety of music from JJ, including songs from her Christmas collection.

Intermission will feature a free-will offering and bake sale provided by the mission trip bound youth of the church. All proceeds from the bake sale will help pay for the youth’s upcoming summer 2015 trips to serve others in need.

The cost to attend is $15 for general admission purchased in advance, $20 at the door and $40 for VIP seating, which guarantees a cushioned seat in the first two rows and a snack.


Parents’ Night Out fundraiser Dec. 12

There is nothing like a mother or father’s love for their child. Sometimes, though – particularly around the holidays – parents can use a little break. When parents can get some “time off” and help out a student fundraiser, that’s definitely a win-win situation. 

That’s the idea behind the upcoming “Parents’ Night Out,” where Oregon Middle School eighth-graders will help babysit children to raise money for their trip to Washington, D.C. next June.  

People can help by signing their kids up for the event (children must be at least 4 years old and potty-trained). 

The requested donation is $25 per child, and checks should be made payable to Oregon Middle School (credit cards are not accepted). 

Participants are asked to bring a sack lunch and get ready for games, crafts, reading and more fun. 


Castle creations at community center

Elementary and middle school students have some active imaginations, and people are invited to see what they have in store during the construction phase of this unique art project.

Construction on “sustainable castles” is set for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 6, at the Fitchburg Community Center, 5510 Lacy Road. Students recently participated in a castle-building event at Rome Corners Intermediate School, and the projects were stored for the final construction project on Dec. 6.

Students received kits with cardboard panels and framing. The use of recycled material was encouraged, such as metal cans, plastic containers, paper, milk cartons, cardboard tubes, etc. Glue, tape, twine and other adhesive may also be used. 

There was a fee of $5 to enter, with proceeds going to the Fitchburg Fields Learning-Teaching-Sharing Garden.


Leaping into a dream

Photo submitted. Pictured from left are dancers Ally Kriefski, Nathan Feest, Sarah Dewey, Darrien Ploessl, Madison Finke, Rosie Phillips, Ryan Wood and Hailey Connors. A Leap Above Dance will present “The Nutcracker Dream” at the Oregon Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m., Dec. 6, and 2 p.m., Dec. 7.

Christmas decorations and presents come to life and fight against the mouse king in A Leap Above Dance’s annual “Nutcracker Dream” presentation.

A Leap Above Dance will present two shows of the Nutcracker Dream ballet, a slightly abbreviated version of The Nutcracker.

The classic holiday theater performance features the Snow Queen and her Snow Flakes as they lead the story’s main character, Clara, played by Madison Finke, 11, into the land of the sweets to see the Sugar Plum Fairy and sweets from around the world dance.

The show, which is in its 12th year, features about 80-90 performers, most from Oregon.

The production will last around 90 minutes, with a short intermission midway through, and features tap, modern and character dance along with the traditional ballet.