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Downtown San Leandro to celebrate holidays Dec. 5

SAN LEANDRO — Downtown will hold its annual “It’s a Wonderful Night” holiday celebration Friday, Dec. 5.

Festivities will be downtown between Washington Boulevard and East 14th Street from 6 to 9 p.m.

Horse-drawn carriages will carry passengers through downtown, leaving from Joaquin Plaza. Performers will include Prescott Circus Theater, DC Dance, San Leandro Players, Pallen’s Martial Arts, Broadmoor Preschool and Zumba.

Hands-on activities will include games, cookie decorating and kids’ art and crafts. Holiday movies will be shown on an outdoor screen.

People are encouraged to take unwrapped new toys to donate to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots drive.

6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

The clippity clop of horse hooves herald the annual “It’s A Wonderful Night” holiday celebration as horse-drawn carriages transport their passengers to another time and back again as they make their rounds through historic downtown San Leandro. Passengers may embark in Joaquin Plaza for the round-trip.

Taking a little time out from holiday preparations to join the festivities, Santa Claus will be sitting to pose for pictures with little ones.

The evening is chock-full of free holiday entertainment including performances by DC Dance, San Leandro Players, Pallen’s Martial Arts, Broadmoor Preschool and Zumba. So you know, dancers, prancers, singers and martial artists.

Hands-on activities will include games, cookie decorating, make-and-take art and crafts for children. Kid-friendly costumed characters will ramble about. Catch an elf selfie! Prescott Circus Theater performers will also join us, enchanting young visitors with their unique skills.

Holiday movie favorites will be showing on an outdoor screen. Bring an unwrapped toy for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots collection drive and receive a free bag of popcorn. Sit a bit, relax, have some fun and join us for a wonderful night!

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Hayward greets the holidays Dec. 4

HAYWARD — The city’s downtown will mark the holiday season Thursday, Dec. 4, with its traditional Light Up the Season celebration.

The night event along B Street will include bands, choirs, dancers, children’s rides, an “ice”-skating rink in front of City Hall and sessions with Santa Claus leading up to the tree lighting inside City Hall.

Festivities begin at 5 p.m. Thursday. Entertainment will include the Dancing Christmas Trees, the Hayward High School marching band, the Mount Eden High School choir and orchestra, the Youth Orchestra of Southern Alameda County and the New Dimension Chorus.

If it rains, many events will be moved inside City Hall.

Merchants will have promotions and discounts. St. Rose Hospital and Walgreens will provide free flu shots.

Children’s rides will include oversized tea cups and a holiday train. Hayward Salvation Army will serve coffee and cocoa at its emergency services food truck.

For more information, call 510-537-2424.

 

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SantaCon returns to Hayward on Dec. 6

HAYWARD — SantaCon returns to the city Saturday, Dec. 6.

Proceeds from the celebration will be donated to the Hayward Animal Shelter.

SantaCons take place throughout the world, with large gatherings of people dressed as Santa Claus stopping at local businesses. Hayward’s is the only SantaCon scheduled in the East Bay.

This year’s SantaCon starts at 6 p.m. at the Turf Club, 22519 Main St. It proceeds to Bijou Restaurant & Bar, 1036 B St., at 7 p.m., then Metro Taquero, 1063 B St., at 8 p.m. and The Bistro, 1001 B St., at 9 p.m.

Forty people took part in Hayward’s first SantaConHayward in 2012 that raised $250 for the Hayward Animal Shelter. Three times as many Santas participated last year.

There will be a Best Santa/Ms. Santa Suit Contest at each stop.

For more information, go to www.facebook.com/SantaConHaywardCA.

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Hayward: Morrisson Theatre Chorus holiday concert Dec. 11-14

HAYWARD — The Morrisson Theatre Chorus will perform its annual holiday concert Dec. 11-14.

“Holiday Concert: Special Songs for a Special Time of the Year” will include classical works, popular holiday songs, Gospel and spiritual pieces and audience sing-along favorites. The chorus is directed by Cesar Cancino

The concerts will be at 8 p.m. Dec. 11-13 and 2 p.m. Dec. 14.

Tickets are $18 adults, $15 senior and $12 junior/student. Douglas Morrisson Theatre is at 22311 N. Third St., next to the senior center and Japanese garden.

The theater’s box office is open from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and can be reached at 510-881-6777. Information is also available at www.dmtonline.org.

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Hayward Mariachi Festival Oct. 3

From the Hayward Chamber of Commerce:

HAYWARD — Mariachi bands, folklorico dancers, kids’ activities, a taco-eating contest and an outdoor market celebrating Hispanic food and art will be highlights at the fifth annual Hayward Mariachi Festival from 4 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 3, at City Hall Plaza, 777 B St. The free family-friendly event is hosted by the Hayward Chamber of Commerce Latino Business Roundtable and the City of Hayward. Guests should bring lawn chairs and blankets.

The event highlight is built around music. This year’s featured performers are Mariachi Juvenil de Hayward, Mariachi Halcones de Oakland, Mariachi Dos and Mariachi Mexicanisimo. Activities for kids will include face painting, Dia de los Muertos mask-coloring, paper flower making and a bounce house courtesy of the Relay for Life Team of Tad Miller and Liberty Tax Service.

The event occurs on National Taco Day, and there will be a taco-eating contest sponsored by Jorge Espinosa and his team at El Taquito Restaurant #2. Specialty beverages to be served include margaritas, sangria and Mexican beer.

For more information, contact the Hayward Chamber of Commerce, 510-537-2424.

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Hayward: Garin Apple Festival Sept. 6

HAYWARD — On Saturday, Garin Regional Park invites everyone to taste fruit from its heritage apple orchard, which boasts heirloom varieties seldom found elsewhere.

The family-friendly Apple Festival will include music, dancing, crafts and old-fashioned games. A cider press and ice cream maker will be put into use, and there will be tastings.

The free festival is noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept., 6 at the park, 1320 Garin Ave. There is a $5 parking fee.

For more information, call 510-544-3220.

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Free play at Hayward park Sept. 7

HAYWARD — “O Best Beloved” will be staged for free Sept. 7 at East Avenue Park.

The family-friendly production is an ensemble adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s Just-So Stories.

The play was named “Best of Fringe” at the 2013 San Francisco Fringe Festival.

According to the ensemble’s website: “Rudyard Kipling wrote these tall tales about the beginnings of the world in the voice of a narrator addressing a youngster that he or she calls ‘Best Beloved.’ Kipling wrote the Just-So Stories for his own best beloveds: his two small daughters, who insisted that he tell the stories the same way every time, or ‘just so.’ They’re full of silliness and wordplay, and are delightful when read aloud.”

The ensemble has been performing at area parks and outdoor venues. The Hayward stop is sponsored by the Douglas Morrisson Theatre. It starts at 2 p.m. at East Avenue Park, 3221 East Ave. Those attending should take blankets or lawn chairs.

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Disney tour to stop at Hayward park

HAYWARD — Hundreds of kids are expected to take part Monday in a Disney tour starring characters from two television shows.

The tour, “Pirate and Princess: Power of Doing Good,” is designed to introduce children ages 2 to 7 to the value of doing good.

Princess Sofia from Disney Junior’s “Sofia the First” television show and Pirate Jake from “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” will be at the show.

Children will be able to create a storybook at “Jake and Sofia’s Storytelling Maze,” share acts of kindness or service in “Enchancia Castle,” do “Sofia’s Animal Friends” activities, take part in interactive environmental lessons in “Jake’s Beach Treasures” and pledge service at the “Forever Tree.”

The show will end with a musical celebration with Jake and Sofia.

The free show will be about 30 minutes, and it will be repeated several times during the day (think Disneyland shows). Priority entry will be given to those with reservations; otherwise it will be first come, first served. The wait time could be up to an hour.

It’s recommended those taking part arrive 30 minutes before their designated times. A very few tickets are still left at https://disneyjunior.thundertix.com/orders/new?performance_id=1271303.

Kennedy is one of seven stops for the tour, and the only one in Northern California.

The tour will be 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Kennedy Park, 19501 Hesperian Blvd.

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Hayward: Gospel choir concert at All Saints

HAYWARD — A gospel choir concert takes place Friday, July 18, at All Saints Catholic Church.

The concert will feature four choirs, four soloists and two instrumentalists.

Tickets are $10 or a donation; proceeds will fund scholarships for students graduating from the church’s parochial school. The concert is 7 to 10 p.m. at the church, 22824 Second St.

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Blues at the Hayward library

HAYWARD –Learn all about the blues at a free lecture and concert Wednesday evening at the Main Library.

The lecture is part of Blues Week, hosted by Bay Area Blues Society. The group which will be putting on the 15th annual Russell City Blues Festival next weekend, July 12-13, outside City Hall.

The blues society is dedicated to preserving and promoting the blues, jazz and gospel music and their interconnection with African-American culture.

After the lecture, Big Cat Tolefree and his Hipnotic Band will perform. Tolefree is a third-generation Russell City blues singer who has opened for the Temptations, BB King and Jimmy McCracklin.

The lecture and performance will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the library, 835 C St. For further information  call 510-771-7980 or go to www.library.hayward-ca.gov

The Blues Society also will have a festival kickoff party from 9 p.m to 1 a.m. July 11 and 12 at the Bistro, B and Main streets.