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Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Denton Record-Chronicle

Holiday lighting gets locals into spirit of the season DENTON HOLIDAY LIGHTING FESTIVAL When: 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Dec. 2 Where: downtown Denton Square, 110 W. Hickory St. Details: Free. For parking information and an event map, visit

The following is the schedule for Friday night’s Denton Holiday Lighting Festival on the downtown Square in Denton: Festival Stage At Hickory and Locust streets 5:30 p.m. - Christmas carol sing-along with the Denton Community Band 5:45 p.m. - Greetings 6 p.m. - Tree Lighting 6 to 6:20 p.m. - Denton Community Band 6:30 to 6:50 p.m. - Denton High School Lab Band 1 7 to 7:20 p.m. - Ballet Folklorico de Woodrow Wilson 7:30 to 7:50 p.m. - Festival Ballet of North Central Texas presenting scenes from The Nutcracker Performance Stage At corner of Oak and Elm streets 8 to 9:30 p.m. - “A Very Merry Denton Holiday Spectacular,” featuring bandleader David J. Pierce and the Denton Holiday Lighting Orchestra, with special guests: J Paul Slavens, Bubba Hernandez, the Boxcar Bandits, the UNT Brazilian Percussion Ensemble, members from the UNT Jazz Studies Dept, Jeffrey Barnes, Bubba Turner and more. UNT on the Square 109 N. Elm St. 6 to 8 p.m. - UNT Tuba Euphonium Ensemble

Ed Steele Photography LLC/Courtesy photo

It’s magical when Christmas comes to North Texas during the annual Denton Holiday Lighting Festival.

By Lucinda Breeding Staff Writer

When the city’s official Christmas tree blinks into life on Friday at the Holiday Lighting Festival, the crowd will answer back with applause and the traditional “oohs” and “ahhs.” After that (well, before that, too) it’s the music that gets Denton into the holiday mood. The Denton Community Band has literally set the tone for the Denton Holiday Lighting Festival for decades. The all-volunteer ensemble plays holiday favorites (“Deck the Halls” and “O Christmas Tree”) and sacred songs (“Joy to the World”) for a community sing-along at the Festival Stage. Band leader Carol Lynn Mizell makes sure the songs are in a comfortable range, and then after the lights are switched on, the community band plays a full set. From 6 to 8 p.m., seven areas will present music and dance. Festivalgoers can get a little jazz Christmas from the Denton High School Lab Band 1 and the Guy High School Jazz Band. For buttery-smooth classical sounds performed by a brass choir, UNT on the Square (see schedule for location) pre-

sents the UNT Euphonium Ensemble. The festival footprint has gotten a little bigger this year, with St. Andrew Presbyterian opening their sanctuary and hosting music by chancel and congregational choirs. The church is located at 300 W. Oak — extending the festival just one more block west of the shops serving wassail on the 200 block of East Oak Street. The lighting ends with a big concert, “A Very Merry Denton Holiday Spectacular,” led by Denton composer and musician David J. Pierce. A few years ago, Pierce picked up the baton and the 8 to 9:30 p.m. time slot to coordinate a concert that features local musicians performing original holiday music or interpreting the classics. Pierce said his goal each year is to plan a dynamic set with some pretty Christmas ballads slowing down the dancing rhythm of Pierce’s 10-piece holiday orchestra. “This is meant to be really reflective of Denton,” Pierce said. “It’s meant to be eclectic and all over the map, style-wise. Instead of me telling the musicians what to perform and how to do it, we’re inviting musicians to perform songs the way they do it.” At holiday lightings in the past few years,

the concert has had Brent Best performing a tender and quiet original song called “Gumdrop,” Sarah Jaffe singing “O Holy Night” and members of Midlake ending the concert with a rousing rendition of John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over).” It’s also added a dash of Denton’s Texan-to-the-marrow Guitar George burning the stage with “Run Run Rudolph,” giving Chuck Berry’s rock classic a tiny touch of twang. Pierce said he’s not overly conscious of the sacred-to-secular mix. “The perfect concert for this town in my mind is having 50 percent of it being local musicians performing their own music and 50 percent being those classics,” he said. This year, the holiday spectacular reprises some favorites: Paul Slavens will read ’Twas the Night Before Christmas, members of the University of North Texas jazz studies program will perform and saxophone-clarinet master Jeffrey Barnes will add his voice and instruments to the mix. There is some new flavor this year, too. The UNT Brazilian Percussion Ensemble will play, and local skunkgrass band the Boxcar Bandits will play three songs. The festival is free.

Denton County Historical Park 318 W. Mulberry St. 5:30 to 5:50 p.m. - Hodge Elementary Choir 6 to 6:20 p.m. - Selwyn’s Singers 6:30 to 6:50 p.m. - Wrangler Choir 7 to 7:20 p.m. - Evers Park Elementary Choir 7:30 to 7:50 p.m. - Blanton Squire Choir East Courthouse Lawn 6 p.m. - Glory of Zion Living Nativity Dancing in the Streets Performance Area At the corner of Locust and Oak streets 6 to 6:20 p.m. - Ryan High School Strutters 6:30 to 6:50 p.m. - Denton Corps Brass Band 7 to 7:20 p.m. - Desert Diamonds 7:30 to 7:50 p.m. - Cross Oaks Spirit Squad Wells Fargo Lobby At the corner of Hickory and Locust streets 6 to 6:20 p.m. - Guyer High School Jazz Band 6:30 to 6:50 p.m. - Sonlight Band 7 to 7:20 p.m. - Handbells at Strickland 7:30 to 7:50 p.m. - Central Baptist Church Choir Commissioners Courtroom Inside the downtown Courthouse on the Square, 110 W. Hickory St. 6 to 6:20 p.m. - Order of the Ocarina 6:30 to 6:50 p.m. - Strickland Middle School Jazz Band 7 to 7:20 p.m. - The Loverlies 7:30 – 7:50 Cross Oaks Choir St. Andrew Presbyterian Church Stage 5:30 to 5:55 p.m. - St. Andrew Children — Living Nativity 6 to 6:25 p.m. - St. Andrew Youth Caroling 6:30 to 7 p.m. - St. Andrew Adult Chancel Choir St. Andrew’s Sanctuary will be open for prayer during these times as well


Denton Record-Chronicle

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Wassail Weekend freely offers flavors of the season LOCATIONS Locations for 2016 Wassail Weekend on Friday and Saturday are:

File Photos/DRC

Wassailers grab cups at the Wassail stop at The Chestnut Tree at a previous Denton Holiday Lighting Festival.

By Stanton Brasher

For the Denton Record-Chronicle

Here comes Santa Clause, right down Hickory Lane and he's thirsty for some of Denton's traditional spiced cider. Dentonites will get to have drinks with the jolly man in red at Denton’s 17th annual Wassail Weekend on Dec.2-3 in the downtown square. According to the Denton Main Street Association’s website, wassail is “an old English word for hot cider.” Wassail’s roots go far back into English history. It was shared among neighbors to wish each other good health after each harvest and during the holidays. While many wassail makers in Denton County argue over exactly what ingredients make the perfect winter beverage, the tradition has made way for the

city’s annual festival which includes a public taste-testing competition. The ingredients, while all involving some form of spiced cider, can vary drastically from vendor to vendor. “Merchants add their own special spices, fruits and secret recipes to compete for the best Wassail,” Christine Gossett, event coordinator for the Main Street Association, said. Originally dubbed “Wassail Fest,” the Christmas gathering has nearly quadrupled in size and attendance in recent years. This prompted the DMSA to expand the festival to encompass an entire weekend and an accompanying name-change. “Wassail Weekend – The weekend theme is something we’ve done several years now to allow people more opportunity to get out in our great down-

town,” said Monte Jensen, president of the main street association. The expansion proved to be favorable for the event planners because it allowed visitors the chance to spend a second evening tasting wassail from some of 40-plus vendors they might have missed on the first night. Also, the hustle-and-bustle of the coinciding Holiday Lighting Festival might provide for a lot of missed opportunities. “Saturday is only Wassail tastings and not the Holiday Lighting, so the streets are open and its more of a sip-and-stroll event as you go around to taste and enjoy the day,” Gossett said. This year, wassail lovers will also have a chance to hear some music by Robert Hokamp of Brave Combo, the Denton Community Chorus, and roaming street performances by Dave White and Link Chalon. The largest celebrity, in both size and stature, to make an appearance is St. Nick himself. Santa will be greeting people, enjoying some cider and taking selfies with little and grown kids alike. Jensen started working with the wassail fest as a vendor with his family’s restaurant, The Mellow Mushroom, but seeing the fellowship of the community inspired him to be more active as a volunteer. Gossett shares a similar passion for community service and she says her favorite thing about the festival is “seeing friends and

families get together and spend time having holiday fun.” Wassail Weekend kicks off at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 2 on the downtown Denton Square, 110 W. Hickory St. Along with several shops serving wassail, attendees will also get to see the annual lighting ceremony on the Denton square. On Saturday, the music and wassail-tast-

ing starts at 1 pm with Robert Hokamp and The wassail-tasting will continue until 4:30 pm and wrap up with a performance from Denton Community Chorus at the corners of Oak St. and Elm St. For members of the DMSA, the most important thing for Dentonite's to remember when

A Creative Art Studio, 227 W. Oak - Friday & Saturday Agua Dulce Mexican Kitchen, 115 S. Elm– Friday & Saturday Atomic Candy, 105 W. Hickory St. - Saturday Barley & Board, 100 W. Oak St. Friday Bearded Monk, 122 E. McKinney Friday & Saturday The Candy Store, 110 B W. Oak St. - Friday Cartwright's Ranch House, 111 N. Elm - Friday & Saturday Chestnut Tree Tea House & Bistro, 107 W. Hickory - Friday Dark Age Tattoo Studio, 124 W. Oak St. - Friday & Saturday Denton Music Workshop, 221 N. Locust - Friday Discover Denton Welcome Ctr., 111 W. Hickory - Friday & Saturday DIME Store Art/Craft/Vintage, 510 S. Locust St. - Friday Dusty's Bar & Grill, 119 S. Elm St. - Friday & Saturday East Side Denton, 113 E. Hickory St. – Friday & Saturday Escaping the Square, 109 E. Oak St., Ste. 700 (Opera House Building) - Friday & Saturday Faded Blue, 1100 N. Locust St., Friday & Saturday First People's Jewelers, 117 N. Elm St. - Friday First United Methodist Church, 201 S. Locust St. - Friday Game Changers Arcade & Sports Grill, 122 W. Mulberry, Ste. 100 Friday & Saturday Glasschroeder Agency, at Garden Gate, 121 Elm - Friday & Saturday The Ghost Note, 120 W. Oak St. – Friday & Saturday Harvest House, 331 E. Hickory St. - Friday & Saturday Shop the Barn, 221 W Oak St Friday

they come to Wassail Weekend is, “have fun.” “Come out, see friends, make friends, dine, drink & frolic,” Jensen said. “Don't panic if after all this you feel a welcome sense of euphoria. Wassail on! Wassail on!” Stanton Brasher is a freelance writer for DRC, The Observer, and Sofa King News.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Denton Record-Chronicle

Festival Ballet of North Central Texas stages annual ballet classic

Bruce Davis/Courtesy photo

The Festival Ballet of North Central Texas takes a bow after its annual staging of The Nutcracker.

By Harrison Long Staff Writer

The Nutcracker ballet has returned to Denton, and with over 200 cast members, dancers

from 35 communities in North Texas, as well as Oklahoma, Colorado, New York and Europe, the event is expected to draw an audience of over 5000. Performances will take place Dec. 10

Jens Meyer/AP

and 11 at Texas Woman’s University’s Margo Jones Performance Hall, located at 1322 Oakland Street in Denton. In addition to the Nutcracker, the Festival Ballet will host demonstration programs for area public schools, as well as present community service performances providing free tickets to local charities such as Big Brothers and Big Sisters, as well as the Cumberland Presbyterian Children’s Hospital. This performance of the Nutcracker was made possible under the direction of Artistic Director Eldar Valiev, who graduated from the prestigious Vaga-

nova Ballet Academy, located in St. Petersburg, Russia, where the ballet originally premiered. He has over 20 years of experience as a ballet dancer and 15 as a ballet master. Also instrumental in the performance is Artistic Director Emeritus Hugh Nini, who founded the Denton Ballet Academy in 1979, as well as the Festival Ballet of North Central Texas in 1988. He has received multiple awards for his exploits in the ballet, and in 2010 was the recipient of the C.A.R.A. or Community Arts Recognition Award, by the Greater Denton Arts Council in recognition of

his decades of involvement in the arts as a master ballet instructor and director. A contemporary Christmas tradition, the ballet’s roots trace back two centuries, with the original tale having been scribed by Prussian author E.T.A. Hoffman in 1816. A fairytale of the Gothic variety, it was considered by Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, who created the modern interpretation enjoyed today, too dark for the ballet. Despite this sentiment, Tchaikovsky was given the opportunity to contribute to an updated version of the tale, penned

by French author Alexandre Dumas (also author of The Three Musketeers), and the ballet was completed in Spring of 1892 before premiering in St. Petersburg that December. Initially met with lukewarm reception by both audience and press, the ballet was largely forgotten until it’s revival in the 1950s by the New York City Ballet. In the time since, the suite has become a fixture of the holiday season, and is enjoyed by millions every year. Tickets and more information about the Nutcracker can be found at


Denton Record-Chronicle

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Chewy Molasses Cookies offer simple goodness By Katie Workman Associated Press Holidays equal platters and tins of festive-looking cookies. Cookies with colored icing, cookies with sprinkles, cookies with fillings, cookies with layers. An artistic cookie display is a thing of beauty, that I'll not argue, but I'll reach past the whole lot if I see a flat, modest, quiet molasses cookie. This is my cookie, not much to look at compared to its flashy holiday brethren, but pliant and spicescented and, to my mind, kind of perfect. Because the butter is melted in this recipe, you can just as easily mix them up with a spoon or a rubber spatula as an electric mixer. And also go for dark brown sugar, which contains more molasses! Don't overbake these cookies (unless you want crispy molasses cookies — then go right ahead and add another couple of minutes). They will keep for three or four days in an airtight container. And they are good contenders for shipping; separate

How to help Elves Shelves of First Baptist Church of Denton joins the Denton Holiday Lighting Association for the annual toy drive at the Denton Holiday Lighting, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. FridayDec. 2 on the downtown Square. Bring an unwrapped new toy to the holiday lighting, or drop off donations at First Baptist Church, 1100 Malone St., during regular business hours. Giving Hope Inc. is holding its annual fundraising poinsettia sale. Pickup is 2 to 5 p.m. Dec. 5 and 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Flinn Hall at First United Methodist Church, 201 S. Locust St. $25 per pot. Order by calling 940-380-0513 or emailing Interfaith Ministries of Denton is accepting Christmas care packages for seniors living at Heritage Oaks Apartments. Donors can drop off parcels of small toiletries, lap blankets, individually wrapped drink mixes (tea, coffee and cocoa), traction socks, hard candies, hand wipes, tissues, crossword puzzle books and large print playing cards. Donations can be dropped at the Interfaith office at 1109 N. Elm St. between Dec. 2-9. The fourth annual Denton Help Portrait offers free services from local stylists, makeup artists and photographers to provide individual and family photos for people who cannot afford them. Volunteers will assemble to shoot free portraits from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Calhoun Middle School, 709 Congress St. For more information, visit Lewisville Morning Rotary Club is seeking volunteers to help with the club’s pancake breakfast with Santa on Dec. 3. Volunteers are need for setup, batter prep, griddle management, grill management, beverage service, table bussing, event design, photography, Santa’s helpers and break-down. Volunteers must register by visiting A volunteer orientation will be by conference call from 5 to 6 p.m. Nov. 30; call 857-2320155 and use access code 310439. Peace of the Rock Ministries in Aubrey is accepting financial donations to Lovepacs provides food for children through community drives. Donations will allow the Aubrey ministry to purchase food. For more information about the local ministry, visit Bartonville is hosting a “Blue Santa” program, and donors are invited to pick up a wish tag from the lobby of Town Hall, or to simply give blankets, gloves, hats and grocery cards. Monetary donations are accepted, too. Donations can be made between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday through Dec. 9. Grocery cards and money donations must be dropped off at Bartonville Town Hall, 1941 Jeter Road. For more information, call 817430-4052. Autumn Leaves, a residential memory care franchise, will have a second annual Caregiver Relief program this month, which is National Family Caregivers Month. Family caregivers can get up to three days of free respite care (based on assessment and availability) For more information about the caregiver relief program, visit or by calling 1-888-919-4910.

layers with wax or parchment paper, place additional crumbled paper in the bottom and top of the container to fill it, and make sure the container is well-padded before putting it in a box and sending it off to a lucky recipient. CHEWY MOLASSES COOKIES Makes 24 cookies Start to finish: 2 ½ hours, including 2 hours refrigeration time) 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted 1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus another 1/2 cup for rolling 1/4 cup brown sugar 1/3 cup molasses 1 large egg In a medium-size bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, cloves and salt. In another large bowl, combine the butter, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar and mo-

lasses. Beat in the egg. Beat in the dry ingredients; the dough should be fairly stiff. Refrigerate the dough for about 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Scoop the dough up by heaping tablespoons and roll them into balls. Roll the balls in the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar and place them 2 inches apart on a baking sheet (about 12 cookies per baking sheet). Using the bottom of a glass, flatten the cookies to about 1/4-inch thick, 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Bake for 7 or 8 minutes just until set. Remove the cookies from the baking sheet and cool on a wire rack. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Nutrition information per serving: 133 calories; 59 calories from fat; 7 g fat (4 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 35 mg cholesterol; 41 mg sodium; 18 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 9 g sugar; 3 g protein. Katie Workman has written two cookbooks focused on easy, family-friendly cooking, "Dinner Solved!" and "The Mom 100 Cookbook." She blogs at http://www.themom100 .com/about-katie-workman/

Sarah E. Crowder/AP

Katie Workman’s Chewy Molasses Cookies feature dark brown sugar and cloves.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Denton Record-Chronicle


Denton Record-Chronicle

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Celebrate the season with area events ONGOING

Dec. 9-17 — Denton Community Theatre presents The Christmas Express by Dori Leeman at the Campus Theatre, 214 W. Hickory St. A defunct radio springs to life at the Holly Railway Station with the arrival of Leo Tannenbaum. $22 for adults, $18 for seniors, $15 for students and $10 for children 12 and younger. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9-10 and Dec. 16-17; and 2 p.m. Dec. 11 and Dec. 18. Call 940-382-1915, or at


5:30 to 9:30 p.m. — Denton Holiday Lighting on the downtown Square, Hickory and Locust streets. Free family festival includes sing-along with the Denton Community Band, tree lighting, vendors, performances on multiple stages, Wassail Weekend kickoff, Holiday Music Spectacular and a toy drive. Free; fees for some activities. Food will be sold. Visit 6 to 8 p.m. — December Gift Gallery at SCRAP Denton, 420 S. Bell Ave. The event features art made mostly recycled or reclaimed materials by local artists. Pieces will be for sale, and a portion of the profits will benefit the nonprofit’s mission and vision. Call 940-808-1611. 7 to 9 p.m. — Christmas Roundup: A Unique Christmas Experience at Rancho De La Roca, 2459 W. Blackjack Road in Aubrey. Hay rides (last one leaves at 8:30 p.m.), Bethlehem experience, Christmas story, countless Christmas lights, live nativity drama by Rock Bottom Outreach, carols around the campfire with Santa and sweet treats at the chuck wagon. $7 per person, children under 3 get in free.


1 to 4:30 p.m. — Wassail Weekend continues. Downtown Denton merchants serve free samples of nonalcoholic wassail. For a list of participants, visit wassail-weekend. 1 to 5 p.m. —Victorian Christmas Tours at the Bayless-Selby House Museum, 317 W. Mulberry St. Learn more about Victorian Christmas traditions, listen to carols by Vocal Magic, and enjoy a cup of wassail. Free. Call 940-349-2865 or visit 5 p.m. — North Texas Roller Derby’s “Jingle Brawl” at Lone Star Indoor Sports and Events Center, 222 S. Mayhill Road. Night includes two mash-up games with skaters from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. $10. Visit 6 p.m. — Ridin’ for the Brand Cowboy Church’s Christmas Ball, with meal, music and dessert at the arena at 5926 FM455 in Sanger. 7 to 9 p.m. — Christmas Roundup: A Unique Christmas Experience at Rancho De La Roca, 2459 W. Blackjack Road in Aubrey. Hay rides (last one leaves at 8:30 p.m.), Bethlehem experience, Christmas story, countless Christmas lights, live nativity drama by Rock Bottom Outreach, carols around the campfire with Santa and sweet treats at the chuck wagon. $7 per person, children under 3 get in free. 8 p.m. — UNT Sounds of the Holidays: “Twelve Drummers Drumming,” coordinated by Mark Ford, in Winspear Hall at the Murchison Performing Arts Center, on the north side of I-35E at North Texas Boulevard. $3. Call 940-369-7802 or visit


7 p.m. — New Horizon Senior Band performs a concert of Christmas tunes, a march and some Broadway selections at First Presbyterian Church, 1114 W. University Drive. Admission is free, but donations benefit Denton Christian Preschool.


7 p.m. — Santa Story Time for ages 1-5 at South Branch Library, 3228 Teasley Lane. Songs, stories and puppets with Santa. Bring a camera for photos with Santa at the end of story time. Free. 5 p.m. — Joe Pat Hennen’s Christmas show at Dan’s Silverleaf, 103 Industrial St. Free.


10 a.m. — Santa Story Time for ages 1-5 at South Branch Library, 3228 Teasley Lane. Songs, stories and puppets with Santa. Bring a camera for photos with Santa at the end of story time. Free.


11 a.m. — Santa Story Time for ages 1-5 at North Branch Library, 3020 N. Locust St. Songs, stories and puppets with Santa. Bring a camera for photos with Santa at the end of story time. Free. 7:30 p.m. — Reindeer Romp, a 4.2-mile run and a 2.5-mile walk through a neighborhood with Christmas lights, starting at South Lakes Park, 556 Hobson Lane. Register by Nov. 30 for $25. Race-day registration is $30. Fee includes long-sleeve tech T-shirt, and fruit, snacks and drinks at the end of the run. Free holiday fun zone will entertain kids while the adults run. Kids zone includes a bounce house, face painting and crafts. If the temperature is lower than 38 degrees, the kids zone will not be available. Runners can pick up race packets from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 7-8, and at 8 a.m. to noon Dec. 9. Visit or call 940-349-7275.


9:30 to 11:30 a.m. — Holiday Gingerbread House Making at the Denton Civic Center, 321 E. McKinney St. Kids can assemble and decorate their own gingerbread houses to take home and then enjoy a bounce house. Event includes supplies and refreshments. $20 per child; adults can stay to help children for no additional cost. Register

by Dec. 7 at Call 940-349-7275. 10 a.m. to noon — Fred Moore Day Nursery School’s Gospel Brunch in the Monroe Fellowship Building at First United Methodist Church, 201 S. Locust St. Patrons get a brunch meal and a gospel concert. $25 for adults, $5 for children under 12. To order tickets, or learn about sponsorship opportunities, email Carol Rogers at 10 a.m. to noon — Santa’s Snap Shots at Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center, 1300 Wilson St. Kids can meet Santa, share their wish list and get a photo. $5 per child; $2 per extra photo. Pay at the door. For more information, call 940-349-7275. 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. — The Festival Ballet of North Central Texas presents The Nutcracker at TWU’s Margo Jones Performance Hall, on the first floor of the Music Building at Oakland and Sawyer streets. $15-$35. Call 940- 891-0830 or visit


2:30 p.m. — The Festival Ballet of North Central Texas presents The Nutcracker at TWU’s Margo Jones Performance Hall, on the first floor of the Music Building at Oakland and Sawyer streets. $15-$35. Call 940891-0830 or visit .


11 a.m. — Santa Story Time for ages 1-5 at Emily Fowler Central Library, 502 Oakland St. Songs, stories and puppets with Santa. Bring a camera for photos with Santa at the end of story time. Free. 5 p.m. — A Polly Maynard Christmas at Dan’s Silverleaf, 103 Industrial St. Free.


11 a.m. to noon — Holiday Crafting Sing-Along at North Branch Library 3020 N. Locust St. Make a holiday card and ornaments while live holiday music plays in the background. Singing along is welcome. Come-and-go program is for ages 3-8 and their caregivers. Free. 4:40 to 5:30 p.m. — Christmas Crafts with the Garden Culture Club for ages 5 and older at Emily Fowler Central Library, 502 Oakland St. Use natural materials to make holiday crafts. Free.


7:30 p.m. — “A Gift for Emma,” an annual holiday fantasia in dance by Denton City Contemporary Ballet, the company out of Denton Dance Conservatory. Family-friendly performance follows a street urchin who receives the gift of dance. At TWU’s Margo Jones Performance Hall, on the first floor of the Music Building at Oakland and Sawyer streets. $25 at the door; $15-$21 in advance at Call 940-383-2623.


2 p.m. — “A Gift for Emma,” an annual holiday fantasia in dance by Denton City Contemporary Ballet, the company out of Denton Dance Conservatory. Family-friendly performance follows a street urchin who receives the gift of dance. At TWU’s Margo Jones Performance Hall, on the first floor of the Music Building at Oakland and Sawyer streets. $25 at the door; $15-$21 in advance at Call 940-383-2623.


7:45 p.m. — Little Jack Melody Christmas Show at Dan’s Silverleaf, 103 Industrial St. $10.


Noon — North Texas TubaChristmas presents a free outdoor concert of holiday music by a tuba choir. Tuba players can join by arriving at 9 a.m. for registration. Concert is on the mall outside UNT’s Willis Library. Registration is $10 per player. Visit http://


8 p.m. — “Lil’ D NYE,” a New Year’s Eve fundraising bash hosted by the Greater Denton Arts Council and United Way of Denton County, at the Patterson-Appleton Arts Center, 400 E. Hickory St. Patrons get a vintage Vegas-style evening with casino tables and dancing to music by a big band. $80 per person, $150 per couple. For “high roller” experience, $125 per single, $230 per couple. Hotel package available. For reservations, visit http://


Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Denton Record-Chronicle


Denton Record-Chronicle

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

‘Emma’ celebrates the season in all forms of dance

By Lucinda Breeding Staff Writer Denton City Contemporary Ballet & Denton Dance Conservatory join forces to present the 18th staging of the company’s original holiday fantasia in dance, A Gift for Emma. Nearly 20 years ago, artistic director Lisa Racina-Torre created her riff on the holiday ballet

classic The Nutcracker. Racina-Torre borrowed two big ideas from the Christmas ballet behemoth -- a young girl dozing off and taking a journey in her dreams. Then she gave it an original twist, setting every kind of dance to modern and classical music. Her company dancers and students studying at Racina’s studio, Denton Dance Conservatory, get perfor-

mance experience in a fully-produced dance. Like their peers in The Nutcracker, young company members also get to watch profesional dancers craft characters and animate choreography in guest roles. A Gift for Emma is a simple story. A street urchin is swept into a dance studio by an arctic wind, falls asleep and ventures through magical lands in her

Denton City Contemporary Ballet/Courtesy photo

Dancers Lea Zablocki & Ruben Gerding perform a pas de deux.

dreams. She enters “The Garden of Dreams,” and meets beautiful butterflies, scary spiders, faeries and pixies. Her guardian angel leads her across “The Sea of Miracles,” through waves, seaweed, and past mermaids, jellyfish, and even Poseidon. Emma finally arrives at the “Palace of the Snow Princess,” where she wishes upon a star, and receives the gift of dance.

This year's guest artists include Chris Koehl, a former Denton Dance Conservatory hip-hop instructor and a finalist on the Fox TV series So You Think You Can Dance. Lea Zablocki (Dallas NeoClassical Ballet, Mejia Ballet International), and Ruben Gerding (Texas Ballet Theatre), will be perform the roles of Poseidon and his Sea Maiden as well as the Snow


King & Queen. A Gift For Emma performances are 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17 and 2 p.m. Dec. 18 at Texas Woman’s Uuniverity’s Margo Jones Performance Hall, on the first floor of the Music Building at Oakland and Sawyer streets. $25 at the door; $15-$21 in advance at Call 940383-2623.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Denton State Supported Living Center’s fundraising drive set

File Photos/DRC

A display shows off the finished work by residents who created ceramic Christmas trees. during each day of the drive. All council’s website, www.vscdenBy Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe contributions go straight to the Staff Writer Dean invites the public to see Volunteers for the Denton council and are tax-deductible. Donors can also give gifts di- it all come together — Santa, State Supported Living Center and WBAP-AM will lead the rectly to residents. The council presents and dancing — at the “Christmas is for Caring” fun- has published their Christmas annual WBAP Christmas party wish lists, from backpacks and at the center. Doors to the gymdraising campaign Dec. 5-9. The Volunteer Services board games to music and mov- nasium open at 6 p.m. Dec. 15. More information at vscdenCouncil has helped raise money ies. The council asks that the gifts for the center for 38 years, partPEGGY HEINKELnering with area media outlets be wrapped and tagged, and not to pay for things that the state of include any glass, food or gift WOLFE can be reached at Texas doesn’t. The group has cards. More information on the 940-566-6881 and via Twitter funded medical and mobility wish lists can be found on the at @phwolfeDRC. equipment as well as many improvements to the grounds. The center is home to about 460 people with developmental disabilities. It is located on Denton State School Road in southern Denton. This year, volunteers are raising money for a new wheelchair van and to help residents pay for community outings, such as going out for pizza, or bowling, or seeing a movie, according to Susan Dean, council spokeswoman. Donors may call the station’s phone bank at 214-525-2500 A resident of the Center creates a ceramic Christmas tree. between 6 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Denton Record-Chronicle

Denton Record-Chronicle


Wednesday, November 30, 2016



Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Denton Record-Chronicle

Holiday gift ideas for coffee lovers By LeAnne Italie Associated Press Coffee lovers can also be lovers of other things, clearly, but the true java head surely wouldn't scoff at a related holiday gift. Some ideas: NOT YOUR AVERAGE TO-GO CUP: A coffee lover AND a tech nerd's dream come true is rolled into the Ember coffee mug. Smart technology allows it to rapidly cool down your liquid to your desired temperature for up to two hours on the go or hours more when placed on its special coaster. Sleek, black design. Holds 12 ounces. The creation of entrepreneur and coffee lover Clayton Alexander and his Ember team. On

The Ember mug holds 12 ounces of liquid.

Local churches plan events By Julian Gill Staff Writer Now that Denton residents have awaken from their postThanksgiving naps, several local churches are preparing for the Christmas season with concerts, candlelight ceremonies and special Christmas Eve services. Southmont Baptist Church is hosting a Christmas musical at 7 p.m. on Dec. 17 and 18 in the church. Doors open and 6:30 p.m., and tickets are free. The church is also having a free candlelight ceremony at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve. The First United Methodist Church has been offering 10-inch poinsettias for $20 to help benefit Giving Hope, Inc., a local nonprofit that assists area homeless. Each flower will adorn the church from Dec. 18 until the Christmas Day services, when they can be taken home. Those interested in participating must fill out a payment form available on the church website,, by Dec. 11. In addition to the flowers, the church will host their traditional Christmas Eve candlelight services at 3 p.m., 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. in the church sanctuary. St. Andrew’s Presbyterian will again have their annual Christmas pageant from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, in the Sanctuary. Last year, First Baptist Church of Denton didn’t host its annual Christmas celebration because the childrens’ wing was being remodeled. Church officials said they will not host Christmas celebrations this year as they have in the past. However, they will host a special Christmas service from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., complete with traditional holiday songs. And a special “Christmas Night of Worship” will be held at 7 p.m. Dec. 14 in the Worship Center.

pre-order in November. $149.95. LITTLE ROCKET SHIPS: Speaking of technology, the 3D-printing loving folks at offer the Rocket Espresso Cup. By designer Craig S. Kaplan, it's the little java ship that could in porcelain that's food, oven and dishwasher safe in a variety of colors, or in white plastic. Hey 1 percenters, you can get one of these printed up in platinum for $150,000. For the rest of us, the plastic is $40 and the porcelain versions $33.17. COFFEE AND ESPRESSO COMBO: Higher end and lower end combination machines are out there, so shop around if you're on a budget or have a truly dedicated coffee fanatic who's in search of the ultimate pour but looking to combine. Some have steam wands and brew at the same time. Some are compact. Generally, they take up less space than two or more machines. Look to DeLonghi for some nice ones. PODS WITH A PURPOSE: Oakland Coffee, owned by Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt, offers fairly traded organic beans packaged in plant-based rather than plastic bags. Oakland, based in Oakland, California, has partnered with San Francisco Bay Coffee Co. on fully compostable single-serve soft pods of arabica blends from small farms in Peru and Honduras. The pods contain no plastic. A 10-count costs $12.99 on Amazon but are currently out of stock. Worth waiting for. Details at

Associated Press

Consider giving a Rocket Espresso Cup this holiday season to please your java-heads. IT'S ABOUT THE GRIND: Fancy automatic coffee grinders can make the taste and are abundant, but they can be pricey. Treat your java lover but do your research. Not looking to break your bank and got a DIY-er? Go for a manual grinder. There are plenty, including the Hario Skerton Ceramic Coffee Grinder available at for $49.95. It promises burrs that easily adjust to produce a range of grind sizes, from super fine espresso to coarse for French press brewing. This soft, single-serve coffee pod from Oakland Coffee Works is fully compostable. And it looks cool.


Denton Record-Chronicle

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Local nonprofits to host NYE bash By Lucinda Breeding Staff Writer

For at least the last 20 years, New Year’s Eve in Denton has been the province of music venues, restaurants and house parties. But there’s never been a big New Year’s Eve bash in a bigger space, with a mass champagne toast and countdown. The Greater Denton Arts Council and the united Way of Denton County have changed

that. The local arts nonprofits will turn Festival Hall — the sprawling banquet area between its two galleries — to host a party set thematically in vintage Las Vegas style from 8 p.m. Dec. 31 to 1 a.m. on New Year’s Day at the Patterson-Appleton Art Center, 400 E. Hickory St. Drinks, dancing and casino games will lead partygoers into 2017 all while raising money for

the council and the local United Way. The council recruited popular downtown restaurant Barley & Board to bring in hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, and Denton composer and arranger

David Pierce will lead his holiday orchestra at the party. DJ Woodtronic will spin some records at the event, too. Attendees can play casino tables and bid on auction items. Tickets cost $80 for singles,

$150 for couples. High Roller Experience tickets cost $125 for singles and $230 for couples. Hotel packages are available. For reservations and a list of high roller ticket perks, visit


Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Denton Record-Chronicle

Children’s theater assembles holiday show By Lucinda Breeding Staff Writer

A small ensemble of youth ages 7 to 12 put together the holiday show for the local theater school this year. Denton Community Theatre’s Theatre School opens its first-ever devised show, A Christmas Stocking, this weekend. “Devised” theater might sound fancy, but all it means is that the company and its director, Julie Brinker, put together the show instead of taking on a typical scripted show. “I picked the stories,” said Brinker, the community theatre’s community outreach director. Brinker said she pulled tales such as “The Mitten,” “The Legend of the Poinsettia” and “The Christmas Truce of 1914” from her head and the local library. “The Mitten” is a tale with a

lot of variations. Sometimes, the central character is a mouse or a woodland creature who happens upon a mitten dropped in the forest by an unlucky child. In the Ukrainian folktale, woodland creatures study it and – one by one – crawl into it and enjpy the warmth. The creatures stuff themselves inside, each animal larger than the last. Finally, after a bear squeezes in, the little mouse makes a decision. “The mouse says ‘well, obviously, if you all fit in there, there’s room for me.’ So she gets in and, no, the mitten explodes,’” Brinker said. The poinsettia legend is best known in the version written by Tomie dePaola. The Mexican folktale finds a little girl, Lucida, who weaves a blanket with her mother to cover the Christ child to wear in the town’s Christmas celebration. Lucida’s mother falls ill, the girl tries to finish it

herself, but ruins it past repair. Ashamed, the girl hides during the Christmas Eve church service, but an old woman gives Lucida a special message. The girl gives the Christ child at the nativity a gift, and a miracle follows. “We improvised our way through it,” Brinker said, explaining that the young performers learned the stories and collaborated on how to tell them together. “We included two written pieces, the Christmas Eve sermon from the 1947 movie The Bishop’s Wife, and ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’ by Robert Frost.” The play is suitable for all ages and is especially for children. The piece is 40 to 45 minutes long, with Christmas carols woven throughout meant to be shared, sing-along style. Tickets cost $5 in advance, $8 at the door. A $3 discount will be of-

U.S. Postal Service Letters from Santa program provides personalized response Associated Press Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus – and the U.S. Postal Service can help you prove it when Santa replies to your child's letter – complete with a North Pole postmark. Here are the steps for your child to get a letter back from Santa: 1. Have your child write a letter to Santa and place it in an envelope addressed to: Santa Claus, North Pole. 2. Later, when alone, open the envelope and write a personalized response. 3. Insert the response letter into an envelope and address it to the child. 4. Add the return address: SANTA, NORTH POLE, to the envelope. 5. Affix a First-Class Mail stamp, such as a new Holiday Windows stamp, to the envelope. 6. Place the complete envelope into a larger envelope -- preferably a Priority Mail Flat Rate envelope -- with appropriate postage and address it to: North Pole Postmark Postmaster 4141 Postmark Drive Anchorage, AK 99530-9998 "Letters from Santa" must be received by the Anchorage, AK,

postmaster no later than Dec. 15. Santa's helpers at the Postal Service will take care of the rest. Be sure to share the experience on social media using #LettersFromSanta. Tips To save paper, write Santa's response on the back of your child's letter. If you keep them together, your child will also be able to recall what he or she wrote. - When responding as Santa, make the response as personal as possible by highlighting your child's accomplishments over the past year, for example, helping around the house, receiving good grades in a particular subject at school or participating in community service activities. - This is a great activity to do at Thanksgiving that the whole family can enjoy, including parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and other caregivers. The Letters from Santa program adds to the excitement of Christmas and is ideal for interesting youngsters in letter writing, stamps and penmanship. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of

Associated Press

postage, products and services to fund its operations. Please Note: For broadcast quality video and audio, photo stills and other media resources, visit the USPS Newsroom at A complete list of the holiday shipping deadlines and information can be found at For reporters interested in speaking with a regional Postal Service public relations professional, please go to Follow us on Twitter (, Instagram (, Pinterest ( uspsstamps), LinkedIn (, subscribe to our channel on YouTube (, like us on Facebook ( usps) and view our Postal Posts blog ( For more information about the Postal Service, visit and

fered to patrons who pay at the door and bring three nonperishable food items. Performances are 2 and 7 p.m. on Dec. 3; 2 p.m. on Dec. 4, 10 & 11 and 7 p.m. Dec. 9 at the POINTBank Black Box Theatre, 318 E. Hickory St. Tickets cost $5 in advance or $8 at the door. You get a $3 discount at the door in exchange for three nonperishable food items. Denton Communty Theatre

opens a second holiday show, The Christmas Express, on Dec. 9. The holiday comedy finds a train station at the Holly Railway turned upside down when Leo Tannenbaum arrives, and old radio springs to life and a group of awful carolers starts to sound like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9-10 and Dec. 16-

17 and 2 p.m. on Dec. 11 & 18. Tickets cost $22 for adults, $18 for ages 62 and up, $15 for students with ID and $10 for ages 12 and under. For reservations, call 940382-1915 or visit LUCINDA BREEDING can be reached at 940-566-6877 and via Twitter at @LBreedingDRC.

Denton Record-Chronicle


Wednesday, November 30, 2016



Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Denton Record-Chronicle

Christmas in Denton County 2016