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headshots, you’d best show up with money (or credit card) in hand – and get there plenty early. Although the show starts at 6pm, guests are handed numbers in order of arrival and let in accordingly. Those who collect the paintings annually are very quick to decide. Often only a few remain available just 15 minutes into the show, although all the paintings will hang for the full two hours. Meanwhile, reindeer obsession has its limits; you won’t find any Rudolphs among 2014’s herd, although Nack employs a wide range of colors to create the critters. Check that. “There might actually be one with a red nose this year,” Nack says. “You’ll have to come and see.”

Theater Thursday

Nack’s 100% Reindeer Art Show is an unofficial part of First Thursday for December. Unofficial, because Roy isn’t actually an official venue (which requires membership in the Downtown Organization, the organizers of First Thursday) or even a paying partner of the monthly informal art and culture event. Neither are some of the best venues that still offer lots of great stuff. But December does bring a cool new fully sanctioned event, First Thursday: After Hours. The two-hour extension (beginning

at 7:30pm, meaning there is a half-hour overlap, but this is Santa Barbara, so precision and accuracy are optional) is meant to promote the new marketing concept of the Historic Theatre District, which is actually pretty cool and accurate, since all three of the venues – The Lobero Theatre, The Granada Theatre and The New Vic – have been around for many decades, which translates to eons in Santa Barbara years. Not only that, but both the Lobero and the Vic are just reopening this week after extended renovations – in the Vic’s case, a complete gutting and reconfiguration to serve as the new home of the Ensemble Theatre Company – while the Granada’s $50 million upgrade took place just over five years ago. And now we have three very nice venues that have capacities ranging from 300 to 660 to 1,300 – a fine array to accommodate all sizes of audiences and performance requirements. Anyway, the theaters are planning on hosting open houses with live entertainment and behind-the-scenes experiences on a rotating basis each month for the next six months. (That would be twice each; I’m pretty good at simple division). December’s kickoff goes to the Lobero, which has arranged for close-up sleight-of-hand trickery from magician Mark Collier, free appetizer bites from ...continued p.36

A family tradition that has spanned three generations and continues. Come on in and join us for some warm Irish hospitality, authentic food and excellent pints.

$8 daily lunch menu featuring over 13 items. 18 E ORTEGA ST., SANTA BARBARA • 11:302:00AM EVERY DAY 805-568-0702 • www.dargans.com •

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Whirlybird Catches The Worm  

THIRTY MINUTES IN A PERFECTLY SAFE (AND SURPRISINGLY COMFORTABLE) HELICOPTER COCKPIT IS NOT ONLY FUN BUT ALSO PROVIDES AN INTIMATE LOOK AT T...