Event highlights for the week of December 20, 2017.
‘Oberufer Shepherds Play’
The shepherds from the nativity story never get any credit. No one ever asks what they thought about going to see the birth of Jesus, or of an angel sporadically appearing out of thin air. Plus, the trip to Bethlehem couldn’t have been easy without lights, cars or maps. At least now we can all know and appreciate how they felt, thanks to the Oberufer Play. The sweet, heartwarming play tells Christmas stories from the perspective of shepherds. This year, the annual event includes an entirely new addition of the Paradise Play, and will again feature local performers and musicians.
INFO: 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 23. Louden Nelson Community Center, 301 Center St., Santa Cruz. 301-325-1566. Adults $12/Children $8.
First Day Hikes
Start your year off right and take a hike. State parks across the country host First Day Hikes to encourage people to get outside on New Year’s Day, and there are few better places than Big Basin State Park to begin a new year. Big Basin is California’s oldest state park, and the birthplace of efforts to save old-growth redwood forests. For First Day Hikes, there will be a four-mile guided tour to Sempervirens Falls and old-growth redwoods. Don’t forget water, snacks and comfortable shoes, but let your pooches know they have to sit this one out.
INFO: 9 a.m. Monday, Jan. 1. Visitors Center at Big Basin Redwoods State Park. 21600 Big Basin Way, Boulder Creek. stateparks.org. 338-8860. Free, parking $10.
If you’ve been searching for an annual dose of Irish culture beyond St. Patrick’s Day, Tomáseen Foley’s “A Celtic Christmas” tour is stopping in Santa Cruz. Now in its 20th season, Foley and UCSC lecturer/alum William Coulter create a show that has roots as old as time—historically far surpassing The Nutcracker and giving the A Christmas Carol a run for its money. The show is set in the 1950s, and is complete with traditional tap dancing, folk music and holiday songs.
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Resource Center for Nonviolence. 612 Ocean St., Santa Cruz. tomaseenfoley.com. 464-9778. $30/$35.
Las Posadas Celebration
Posada means “inn” or “shelter” in Spanish, and Las Posadas is a nine-day Latin-American holiday tradition commemorating the story of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem, and their search for a place to stay. Las Posadas is also a reminder that there are thousands around the globe without shelter, and an event to both give thanks and help those in need this holiday season. The event usually begins with a candle lighting and Christmas carols, and includes reenactments of the story and biblical imagery. Of course, there are tamales, music and dancing, too.
INFO: 6 p.m. Calvary Episcopal Church, 532 Center St., Santa Cruz. cityofsantacruz.com. Free.
Wow your coworkers, family and friends with your unparalleled macaron baking talents as you learn how to make the cute meringue-filled cookies that are the epitome of French dessert elegance—and ideal for any holiday party or stocking stuffer. They will be free of artificial coloring and flavors, since attendees will use superfoods to color and flavor their cookies. This workshop is sure to please any gluten-free guests, and you will come away with a box of your very own treats.
INFO: 6 p.m. New Leaf Community Market, 1101 Fair Ave., Santa Cruz. newleaf.com/events. $38.