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Six things to do this weekend, plus Free Fun:

1 Marvel at the holiday spirit as the Central West Ballet performs the first "Nutcracker" at the Gallo Center for the Arts. Special sugarplum parties after matinees. Today, 2 and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, 2 p.m. Rogers Theater, Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I St., Modesto. $30 to $70 ($10 additional charge for sugarplum party). 338-2100.

2 Enjoy the family-oriented staging of "Nutcracker" by the Backstage Dance Company with a cast of mostly young performers. Today, 2 and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, 2 p.m. Mainstage Theater, California State University, Stanislaus, One University Circle, Turlock.

$14 in advance only (sugarplum parties are free). 667-8511.

3 Put a little Irish into your holidays as the annual

A Celtic Christmas show returns, bringing seasonal sounds. Today, 7 p.m. Sonora High School auditorium, 430 N. Washington St. $14. 588-1572.

4 Celebrate the season with an evening of inspiration and praise with The Kingdom Travelers. Today, 7 p.m. State Theatre, 1307 J St., Modesto. $25. 527-4697.

5 Hear pianist Jon Nakamatsu, who won the 1997 gold medal in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Today, 8 p.m. Foster Theater, Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I St., Modesto. $30 to $45. 338-2100.

6 Spend A Jubilant Christmas with the Jubilant Praise choir and Turlock Youth Chorale. Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Turlock Community Theatre, 1574 E. Canal Drive. $22 to $42. 668-1169.

FREE FUN: Delight to a Feast of Lights by the North Modesto Church. Sunday, 7:30 p.m. North Modesto Church, 1918 Sherwood Ave. 521-9148.

-- Marijke Rowland

More opposition to West Park plan

The Newman-Crows Landing Unified School District board joined several other public agencies in opposing the proposed West Park development on the former Crows Landing air base. The cities of Patterson and Newman, the Patterson Unified School District, the West Stanislaus Fire District and the Del Puerto Health District have signed a resolution opposing the 4,800-acre project. The Newman-Crows Landing board vote followed nearly an hour of discussion and a presentation by West Park proponents. Superintendent Richard Fauss said the immensity of the project convinced the board to take action. The influx of people would overwhelm the district, which already is in need of another school, Fauss said.

Yesteryears

75 YEARS AGO: A San Francisco auditing firm announced that, except for a few minor clerical errors in some county justice courts, the records of Stanislaus County were in "excellent condition."

-- Karen Aiello

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