Victorian Country Christmas to kick off holidays

Lifestyles: Singing nativity scene will be showcased daily; double performance on Saturday, Dec. 7

Special to the HeraldNovember 27, 2013 

A Victorian Country Christmas has been a 26-year tradition at the Washington State Fairgrounds. It includes live music, shopping opportunities and a family-friendly atmosphere. The event will be held from Dec. 4-8. Cash-only tickets are $11 for adults, $9 for students and seniors.

VICTORIAN COUNTRY CHRISTMAS/COURTESY PHOTO

The Victorian Country Christmas Festival, a 26-year-old tradition, will be held next week at the Washington State Fairgrounds in Puyallup.

The stylized and decorated event will feature live shows, gift giveaways, a wine garden and shopping opportunities.

The event will open at 10 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Dec. 4-5. It will run from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 6-7, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Dec. 8.

Tickets are available with cash only at the entrance gate. They are $11 for adults and $9 for students 6-18 and for those 62 and older. Children younger than 5 get in for free.

Tacoma Boys and Key Bank will offer $2 discount coupons at individual store locations.

Festival-goers will be able to shop at any of the 560 Christmas stores for decorations, home decor, and other gifts and novelties.

Natural Allah and Jennifer Zaskorski from Soul, a Tacoma restaurant, will provide cooking demonstrations daily in the Christmas Kitchen. It will be their first year at the festival.

All of the shows, singing nativity performances and carousal rides are free with gate admission. The parking lot and carousal ride are funded by the Victorian Country Christmas Festival organizers.

The festival has partnered with several radio stations to provide artists throughout the festival at the Holiday Jubilee Theatre. Austin Webb will be presented by 100.7 FM the Wolf, and Dylan Scott by 94.1 FM KMPS.

Webb was named on Country Weekly’s list of “Ones to Watch 2013.” The complete show schedule can be found at www.avictoriancountrychristmas.com/program.htm.

The singing nativity will be showcased daily, and double performances will be held Dec. 7. The group comprises more than 100 individuals from the Northwest. The singers and dancers practice their choreographed routine for about nine weeks.

The show used to be performed outside but has since been moved indoors to accommodate for the chilly weather.

“It’s definitely a community effort,” festival owner Shari Furnstahl said. “It’s quite the production.”

The wine garden will return to the festival, sponsored and hosted by Tacoma Boys. A variety of wines will be available to customers who wish to purchase a sample. Glasses, bottles and cases also will be available.

Proceeds from the glasses of wine will benefit Positive Programs, a nonprofit organization that provides scholarships to students who are interested in after-school arts, specifically dance.

Camp Promise, which provides a free camp to children and young adults who have muscular dystrophy or neuromuscular diseases, will provide support for the Santa Tram. Donations will be accepted to support the camp.

The festival will celebrate its Senior Day in the Holiday Jubilee Theatre at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 5. There will be thousands of dollars worth of gift baskets and prizes, a fashion show and a performance from the Stardust Follies.

Seniors who wish to participate will be given tickets at the gate. The Stardust Follies will perform at noon.

A Victorian Country Christmas was established by Furnstahl’s mother, Lynda Pressey, and her step-father, Rod Pressey.

Furnstahl said her mother wanted to create a Christmas show with a “Victorian feel with a hint of country to make it warm” after she retired.

“Her dream also was to have entertainment that would be engaging and would go beyond,” Furnstahl said.

Furnstahl and her husband have owned and operated the festival for the past 10 years.

Elsy Pawelak is a freelance reporter for the Herald.

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