The popular local craft bazaar Hand Born has been reborn this year as Mod Shop. The annual event, which was founded in 2004 by Julie Edwards and Tawny Holt, sold an assortment of one-of-a-kind items from clothing to accessories and artwork from area artists. While Edwards and Holt have moved out of the region, a collection of artists and crafters have picked up their torch with their blessing and started Mod Shop: Indie Crafters Market. Most of the organizers have been involved in Hand Born in the past. They hope to turn the new event into a similar annual tradition to show off area artisans and their wares. The event also will include food vendors and live local must by Francesca Bavaro, Love Core, The Wrong Doers and Bethany Joseph. The event will include a raffle to benefit the Peer Recovery Art Project.
Enjoy the “little orchestra” with the big sound, Pink Martini, as it brings its eclectic mix of classical, Latin, jazz and classic pop to the Gallo Center for the Arts. The Portland-based group was founded 1994 by pianist Thomas Lauderdale. The group, which features close to a dozen musicians on everything from piano to trumpet and cello to bongos, is lead by vocalist China Forbes. Its music has appeared on the large screen (“Nurse Betty,” “Mr. and Mrs. Smith”) and small (“The Sopranos,” “West Wing”). The holiday show will include a mix of American standards including “White Christmas” and “We Three Kings” with world music from countries like Italy, Israel and the Ukraine.
Sonora Christmas Festival
Jump start your holiday cheer at the 39th annual Sonora Christmas Craft and Music Festival. The holiday extravaganza at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds features an array of craft vendors, food and live music. Performing will be popular regional touring artists like Joe Craven, Golden Bough, Sourdough Slim and the Saddle Pals and more. More than 150 vendors will peddle everything from jewelry, collectibles, clothing, food, kitchen wares and more. For the youngsters there are pictures with Santa, the Polar Express Train, costumed street performers and the like. The annual Christmas Parade in downtown Sonora follows the event on its opening day at 5:30 p.m.
Babes in Toyland
Modesto Performing Arts brings back the colorful holiday classic “Babes in Toyland.” The story, based on the 1903 operetta by Victor Herbert, features an array of familiar characters from nursery rhyme favorites to Santa’s Toymaker. The production includes a cast of 40, including 20 children ranging in age from 5 to teens, in the adventure of Tom-Tom and Contrary Mary who try to save Mother Goose’s Village from the evil Barnaby.
Kids Christmas at the State
Downtown Modesto’s historic State Theatre will become a winter wonderland for youngsters Sunday. The annual event brings the North Pole to the Central Valley for a family event with visits for Santa and Mrs. Claus, elves, hot cocoa, cookies and more. The Oscar-nominated animated Christmas favorite “The Polar Express” will screen during the event. Guests also will see a preview by Strut Performing Arts of a number the dance company will perform at its upcoming “The Night Before Christmas” show. Donations of coats, pajamas, socks and canned food will be accepted at the door for families in need.
There’s a mouse in the house, and she’s wearing a tutu. Angelina Ballerina, the popular character from the PBS Kids series, comes to the stage with a musical show. The production includes Angelina and friends performing all types of dance, from hip-hop to Irish jigs and, of course, ballet.