Home for the Holidays

The Thanksgiving holiday will be here before you know it. Along with it comes that once-a-year opportunity to enjoy festivities of fall in the company of family and friends.

The days may be shorter, the nights longer, and temperatures cool and growing colder still, but there’s plenty to do and lots of entertainment at hand in the days before and after, and even on Thanksgiving Day. Here’s a quick look at just some of what’s in store:

Island Stage Left: “Other Desert Cities”

Stage leftIt’s a painful, dark family secret at the heart of Jon Robin Baitz’s award-winning dramatic production, “Other Desert Cities,” one that some members of the Wyeth family would prefer to stay hidden.

Other family members are prepared to share it with the world, however, and strife erupts over the Christmas holiday in the ensuing and enlightening tug-of-war.

Island Stage Left presents “Other Desert Cities,” winner of the 2011 Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play award and 2012 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, in a six-week run beginning Friday, Nov. 15, at the county fairgrounds Marie Boe Building.

Baitz infuses that award-winning drama with a healthy dose of humor and wit (as well as a happy ending) and the intriguing combination has earned the play sweeping critical acclaim: “superbly crafted,” “funny, cutting and illuminating,” “smart, entertaining”; the praise goes on.

Evening performances are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 7:30 p.m., with Sunday matinees, 4 p.m. (Wednesday, Nov. 27 performance in lieu of Thanksgiving). For more info, production schedule, visit,

Family Theatre: The Nutcracker & the Mouse King

Director Penelope Haskew and a cast of 60 island children and adults will give the classic Tchaikovsky ballet a fantastical twist with a musical production featuring singing, dancing, dialogue and a few “rap” moves as well.Nutcracker

But fear not, all the classic characters will make an appearance, including the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Land of Sweets, as the production reaches back to the original E.T.A. Hoffman book, explaining how the Prince was long ago turned into a Nutcracker and who later magically saves Clara from the evil Mouse King.

“I think this is a fun way to introduce something classic to the kids, so they can appreciate it more when they get older,” said Haskew, who a year ago directed the Family Theatre production of “Macbeth… something wicked this way comes.”

Performances: Friday-Saturday, Nov. 22-23, 7 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m.; tickets: $15 adults, $8 student reserved, $5 student RUSH. Info,

9th Annual Turkey Trot

Turkey TrotGet your motor running and your appetite ready for Thanksgiving dinner at the 9th annual Turkey Trot.

Sponsored by Kings Market, Friday Harbor Suites and San Juan Island Fitness, the Thanksgiving Day five kilometer fun run (3.1 miles) is a benefit for the Friday Harbor Food Bank and Animal Protection Society. Register the day of the run, beginning at 8 a.m., at Friday Harbor Suites, which hosts the start and the finish lines; the Trot begins promptly at 9 a.m.

Adult registration: $5 plus two cans of food; children under 12, $2 plus two cans of food.

Info, 378-4449.

Community Thanksgiving Dinner

There’s no need to be alone on Thanksgiving Day.Community Thanksgiving Dinner

If last year is any indication, hundreds of islanders will flock to the Grange Hall in Friday Harbor on Thanksgiving Day to share the holiday meal with friends, family and neighbors. In fact, the Community Dinner, manned completely by volunteers, reached a high-water mark a year ago, with about 400 dinners served.

The yearly event, now in its 15th year, is truly a community event, drawing on the spirit of volunteers to do the baking (turkeys and pie), preparation, serving and cleanup, with 28 turkeys donated by Kings Market for the feast. Dinner is served noon to 5 p.m.

To donate, volunteer or for information, call Minnie or Jim Knych, 378-7040, or visit,


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