‘ZooZoo,’ ScanFair, and ‘A Very Merry Mariachi Christmas’: 15 things to do this week

Subscribers can gift articles to anyone

We’re knee-deep in holiday happenings at this point in the month. If you’re still searching for some ways to fill in your holiday weekends (and even some weeknights) we’ve got a plentiful list this week.

If you missed the Holiday Events Guide that included even more seasonal offerings, here are links to expanded event listings through the month:

A&E best bets

Northwest Dance Project presents new works this weekend. Dancer: Ingrid FerdinandPhoto by Blaine Truitt Covert

“New Stories – In Good Company”

NW Dance Project takes to the stage with a new holiday show “In Good Company” that highlights the creative work of company choreographers. This year’s show features new work by Andrea Parson, returning guest creator Carla Mann, and several company members. Tickets sell fast for these shows. Runtime is about 90 min.

7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday (Saturday’s show has sold out), 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8-10, NW Dance Project Creative Center, 211 N.E. 10th Ave.; tickets $58; app.arts-people.com.

A&E best bets

The Friends of DanceWorks present the holiday classic - "The Nutcracker"Courtesy of Friends of DanceWorks

“The Nutcracker” presented by Friends of DanceWorks

Each year the Friends of DanceWorks host a performance of the Christmas classic ballet. Students in Vancouver City Ballet and other local dance schools are welcome to audition. The performance features more than 100 student and adult dancers and will celebrate its 30th year this season. Proceeds from ticket sales and fees fund scholarships for local dancers.

7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 8-10, Fort Vancouver High School, 5700 E. 18th St., Vancouver; tickets $25-$35; danceworksperformingarts.com.

ZooZoo Imago

Imago's "ZooZoo" Anteater sketch. File photo. Courtesy of Imago Theatre


This long-standing Imago favorite and Portland-area holiday tradition takes a few steps over the traditional line with a delightful experience for all ages that is much more than dance or puppetry. Watch as animate and inanimate “things” come to life on the state. Bugeyes, hippos with insomnia, arrogant anteaters, introverted frogs, paradoxical polar bears, acrobatic worms, self-touting accordions, and tricky penguins present a show filled with wonder, awe and humor. ZooZoo has toured internationally since 2009.

Opens 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8 and continues various days and times through Jan. 1, 2024, Imago Theatre, 17 S.E. Eighth Ave.; tickets $19.50-$37.50; onthestage.tickets/imago-theatre.

Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition

Carolers sing in downtown Portland during the 2014 Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition. File photo. Jamie Hale/The Oregonian

The Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition

Caroling groups of all ages and sizes show up at Pioneer Courthouse Square to decide whose Holly is most Jolly. It’s probably more caroling than a traditional Scrooge can handle. But if you love Christmas songs, this is an event not to be missed.

5:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, Pioneer Courthouse Square, 701 S.W. Sixth Ave.; free; portlandmall.org.

Oregon Mandolin Orchestra

Get ready to celebrate the Yuletide with Christmas tunes in a variety of styles. The concert also features guest vocalists the Newport Nightingales. The audience will hear music from the early 17th century to contemporary favorites, and composers including J.S. Bach, and Johnny Hodges. Get ready to sing along!

7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, Walters Cultural Arts Center, 527 E. Main St., Hillsboro; tickets $20 advance, $23 at door; cityofhillsboro.ticketspice.com.

A&E Best Bets

Celebrate a Nordic Christmas during ScanFair at the Oregon Convention Center. File photo. Image by MBauer Photography


Experience the sights, sounds, tastes, and traditions of a Nordic Christmas Market at this year’s ScanFair. More than 100 vendors and community organizations will offer unique Nordic foods, arts, crafts, and other products from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. The event also includes non-stop entertainment from traditional music and dancers to herring/meatball-eating competitions. There’s even a viking fashion show.

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9-10, Oregon Convention Center, 777 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.; admission $8-$12, ages 5 and younger free; eventbrite.com/e/scanfair.

Morrell Metalsmiths of Colrain for Outlook

Tools of the metalsmith's trade. File photo/MLive.com

Metal Arts Gift Show (McMinnville)

Yamhill Valley Heritage Center is hosting this annual family-friendly holiday event that features the sights and sounds of a metalsmith’s world. Shop handmade items created by more than 30 local artists. Watch as the artists forge bronze, copper, and silver into intricate shapes including replicas of ancient armor and swords. There will also be handmade jewelry, interactive demos, food trucks and live music.

10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, at the museum, 1275 Durham Lane, McMinnville; $5 admission or five cans of food donation; yamhillcountyhistory.org.

Unique Markets Portland

Holiday shopping still on your list of “things to do”? Items created by more than 135 small businesses are featured during this celebration of independent designers, artists and emerging brands. The weekend also includes a family fun zone, food vendors, a DJ and treat samples.

10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 9-10, Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 300 N. Winning Way; admission $10; uniquemarkets.com/portland.

A&E best bets

Vancouver Symphony OrchestraCourtesy of VSO

Vancouver Symphony Holiday Pops concert

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s holiday concert continues to be the most well-attended event of its season, according to organizers. This year’s program includes classical favorites by Suppé, Delibes, and Strauss II as well as popular hits for the whole family such as songs from “Frozen,” “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” and others. The program also includes the world premiere of a work by local composer Kurt Rosenberg, and the return of award-winning baritone Anton Belov.

7 p.m. Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9-10, Skyview Concert Hall, 1300 N.W. 139th St, Vancouver; tickets start at $42, streaming option available; app.arts-people.com.

ISing Choir Winterfest with Big Horn Brass Trombone Consort

This year’s ISing Choir winter holiday performance will feature the Big Horn Brass Trombone Consort and the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, the premier of “Maria Regina Caeli” by Stephen Galván (who also directs the concert), and “Pie Jesu” by Andrew Lloyd Webber as well as other pieces.

7:30 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9-10, Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, 12625 S.W. Crescent St., Beaverton; $14, thereser.org or 971-501-7722.

Rock music

Shop for new, used and vintage guitars this weekend. File photo/Plain Dealer.

West Coast Guitar Show

Do you have an avid guitarist on your shopping list this year? The West Coast Guitar Show offers vintage, used and new basses, amps, pedals, banjos, mandolins, lap steels and of course, guitars. Shop, sell, or trade.

10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10, Memorial Coliseum, 300 N. Winning Way; admission $15; westcoastguitarshows.com.

A Very Merry Mariachi Christmas Concert

For those who enjoy a holiday with a more Latin flare, check out this concert featuring classical, pop, jazz, swing, and show tunes, conducted by José Hernández and performed by Mariachi Sol de México. This tribute to Mexico’s Christmas traditions will have you dancing and add more color and music to your holiday celebrations.

7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 11, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 S.W. Broadway; tickets start at $20; tickets.orsymphony.org.

A&E best bets

"Bear Grease" performs one night only at the Portland Art Museum.Photo by Kevin Eilenberg

“Bear Grease”

This Indigenous musical is a take on the Broadway and movie classic “Grease.” This novel retelling of the story combines hip-hop, parody, improv, and freestyle for a musical theater production that offers an Indigenous perspective. The one-night only Portland show will also be a special holiday version.

7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 12, Mark Building, Portland Art Museum, 1119 S.W. Park Ave.; tickets start at $25; app.arts-people.com.

“See, Amid the Winter’s Snow”

The Westside Community & Youth Orchestra presents its annual free holiday show with music to warm the cold winter heart. Listen as student musicians and vocalists perform a program including “Christmas Fantasy” by Goeller, “The Holberg Suite” by Grieg, “See, Amid the Winter’s Snow” by Forrest, as well as other works. The Liberty High School Choir are the guest vocalists.

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec, 13, First Congregational Church United Church of Christ, 494 E. Main St. Hillsboro, and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15, Liberty High School Auditorium, 7445 N.E. Wagon Drive, Hillsboro; donations welcome; wcyo.org.

2020 “The Voice” finalist, Thunderstorm Artis (Newberg)

Thunderstorm Artis, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist performs in a Christmas benefit concert. All proceeds from the show go toward renovating the kitchen at Northside which serves meals to the houseless community in the area.

7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13, Northside Community Church. 1800 Hoskins St. Newberg; tickets $20 advance; northsidenewberg.org.

- If you have events you’d like to see highlighted at OregonLive.com or in the weekly printed A&E section of The Oregonian, please email submissions to events@oregonian.com at least three weeks prior to the start of your event. Digital images or links to videos are helpful.

— Rosemarie Stein

503-221-4376, events@oregonian.com; @trafficportland

Our journalism needs your support. Please become a subscriber today at OregonLive.com/subscribe

If you purchase a product or register for an account through a link on our site, we may receive compensation. By using this site, you consent to our User Agreement and agree that your clicks, interactions, and personal information may be collected, recorded, and/or stored by us and social media and other third-party partners in accordance with our Privacy Policy.