The Festival of Trees, one of the biggest entertainment events of the holiday season, is this week.
If you attend on Preview Night, you’ll find it’s likely the best night of entertainment for the price: $5.
The 19th annual holiday event at San Juan Community Theatre is sponsored by the Community Arts Theater Society, or CATS, as a fund-raiser for the theater. Last year’s event raised $75,000 for the theater.
Family Preview Night is today, 6 p.m. For $5, you can see the theater decorated in holiday splendor, bid on silent auction items that will also be available on Saturday, and enjoy a live show written by NBC veteran Ted Soares.
In keeping with the Festival of Trees theme, “Favorite Things,” trees will be decorated with pet toys and ornaments painted by local high school art students. Pet toys have been donated by Friday Harbor Pet Supply.
No reservations are needed for Family Preview Night; tickets are available at the door and at www.sjctheatre.org.
For the big night Saturday (with guests dressed in their holiday finery), doors will open at 5 p.m. for the continuance of the silent auction with dozens of donated items from several artists and businesses.
Wine and appetizers created by Roche Harbor executive chef Bill Shaw will be served during the silent auction. The silent auction will close at 6:30 p.m. and the action will move into SJCT’s Whittier Theatre for the live auction and show.
The evening’s highlight must be the live entertainment, filled with dancing, singing and music under the direction of Soares, the NBC veteran best known for his three island musical revues, “Bye, Bye Bijou,” “Flatfoot Follies” and “Hello Bijou, Hello!”
In his career, Soares was a staging operations manager for such TV shows as “Matinee Theatre,” “Laugh In,” “The Tonight’s Show” and specials starring Mitzie Gaynor, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.
Among the items up for bid: A fishing trip in the Queen Charlotte Islands, and dinner with culinary icons Graham Kerr and Tom French. (You can view live auction items online at www.sjctheatre.org.)
Kerr is an internationally known culinary TV personality and award-winning author. He is best known for his acclaimed TV show, “Galloping Gourmet.”
French has been a chef, consultant and trainer in the food service industry for the past 40 years. He is director of the Experience Food Project, of which Kerr is senior adviser. Both are advocates for healthy eating. Their efforts include projects designed to alleviate hunger and suffering throughout the world.
The evening ends with delectable desserts from Marilee Weber of Sweet Spot.
Tickets for Saturday are $75 per person and can be purchased by calling 378-3211, ext. 32.
Teddy Bear Tea now Teddy Bear Picnic
Hey, children, don’t fret.
The San Juan Community Theatre’s annual Teddy Bear event will continue … you’re just going to have to wait until spring.
CATS — the Community Arts Theater Society — canceled its free holiday Teddy Bear Tea for youngsters this year, but will host a special Teddy Bear Picnic when the sun returns.
“Our bears are in hibernation right now,” CATS president Pat Nieman said. “We are excited to plan a bright and sunny picnic for our bears and island youngsters in early May.”
The exact date for the picnic is to be determined, but families can look forward to a fun and colorful free event full of “beary” cool activities. Look for the details soon at www.sjctheatre.org