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Christmas Spectacular returning to CAC

Williamsport’s Community Arts Center is joining in the holiday cheer again this season, as the area’s premier concert venue will play host to the 13th Annual Skip Hunsinger Christmas Spectacular at 2 p.m. Dec. 15. The event is free and open to all ages.

In its 13th season, the Christmas Spectacular began with an idea among two local community-minded volunteers, Harold “Skip” Hunsinger and Frank “Whitey” Missigman. According to Hunsinger’s son, Lou, Frank and Harold wanted to recreate the AFL-CIO Christmas parties of yesteryear, notably from the 1930s to the 1960s, when such events were held at the Capitol Theatre, the Community Arts Center’s original namesake.

Keeping with the various family-friendly offerings of the event, the various volunteers strive to make it as special as possible for the children, and for the young at heart.

Fiona Siobhan Powell, noted Celtic storyteller and WVIA radio personality, will be kicking off the day’s events performing a Christmas Story Reading. Powell, of Lewisburg, has been known to “magically transport” listeners to other times and places with her engaging delivery. At least a portion of what makes Powell’s storytelling so compelling is her English dialect. She comes from a long line of United Kingdom families, and before the UK was known as such.

Powell’s understanding of the land and its customs make her a one-of-a-kind performer. She is the daughter of a Welsh-American lawyer and a British actress and makes use of vocal sound effects to make her performances more captivating.

“I will be telling a traditional folk tale, as I always do,” Powell said. “The particular tale I’ll be telling won’t be Celtic, but rather Dutch. However, as someone who practices storytelling in the traditional Celtic way, with most of my stories being learned and shared aurally rather than from books, the folktale will be told honoring the traditions.”

Next, the Kingdom Kidz, a local puppet ministry troupe from Watsontown, will be putting on an interactive show. The Kingdom Kidz performances strive for “Education through puppetry,” and as such will be utilizing the show to provide educational entertainment.

Kingdom Kidz offers many programs, for all major Christian holidays, and some secular holidays such as Mother’s and Father’s Day. Christmas programs are among the most extensive offerings of the Kingdom Kidz, and the group has at least five established Christmas programs that they perform: “Star Gazing,” a story of Jesus’ birth; “Angel Alert,” in which the audience is transported to Heaven; “The Christmas County Spelling Bee,” a fantastical choose-your-own-adventure tale; “Christmas at Bethlehem Gulch,” and “Miracle on Main Street,” a story of overcoming Earthly considerations with the help of God.

In addition to the educational and entertainment value of the event, attendees can also expect to acquire items of U.S. Dollar value, as the Christmas Spectacular will be raffling off more than $4,000 in gifts and services, including a bike and helmet raffle, and a Knoebel’s ticket raffle. To ensure that children receive a fair distribution of prizes that they will enjoy, there will also be a raffle for children aged two to eleven with special gifts.

Tickets for the event will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis, on November 30, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The Community Arts Center will have tickets available for adults, children ages 5-11, and children under 5. Tickets will be given out at the Community Arts Center. Each child attending the Spectacular must be accompanied by an adult.

For more information, call (570)-326-2424 or visit Caclive.com.

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