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COLUMN: Want to feel festive? There's lots to do in Orillia

From documentary screenings to holiday evening stroll in Arts District to Christmas concerts, there is something for everyone, says arts columnist
Marci Csumrik, left, and Kyla Epstein are among the local celebrities who will participate in a reading of A Christmas Carol, a Dec. 16 fundraiser for Dress for Success Orillia/Barrie.

Well folks, we are full on into December and lots of holiday and other fun still to be had.

Couchiching Craft Brewing Co. continues with its great lineup of music every week. This week, enjoy SAMMY on Thursday night, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.; Madison Mueller Friday night from 7 to 10 p.m.; and Cassie DaSilva Saturday from 7 to 10 p.m.

The downtown eatery is also hosting its first New Year’s Eve Brewery Bash this year, in its second-floor event space. Tickets are $80 a person and include your choice of a NYE cocktail; a guided tour and tank sample, family-style festive apps and desserts for each table, live music by Rocksteady from 9 p.m. to midnight and a glass of Ravine sparkling and party favours to celebrate at midnight.

There will also be door prizes and each guest will also receive a VIP coupon for 25 per cent off in the retail store. Sounds like a great deal, so grab your tickets here.

Lots of folks are stoked for the Orillia Screening of Blooms, a documentary about Cobalt, Ontario, billed as Ontario’s most historic town, this Friday at 7 p.m. at the Orillia Community Church.

This project has been a journey and here is who has been involved in it: Doc by Jordan Vandenberg and Alec Jordan; aerial cinematography - Neil Brown; Super 8 film provided by Dan Larocque; music - The Cobalt Song (By L.F Steenman and R.L. Mac Adam); The Cobalt Song Continued (By Dylan Shropshire); Illustrations - Jennie Davis.

Come out and support lots of our hometown heroes in the screening of this fascinating documentary.

This Thursday, the Peter Street Arts District is having a holiday evening stroll, from 5 to 7 p.m. Galleries will be open and lots of great gift ideas on display. Also during this time, Hibernation Arts guest artist MJ Pollak will be having the opening reception for her show there.

This Friday at 7:30 p.m., don’t miss The Fitzgeralds' Canadian Christmas at the Orillia Opera House. The Fitzgeralds are Canadian Champion fiddling and step dancing siblings Tom, Kerry and Julie Fitzgerald, and guest guitarist Alanna Jenish. Tickets are $35 and you can get them from the OOH box office here.

Emmanuel Orillia is hosting a Christmas Carnival this Saturday from noon to 2 p.m., all are welcome, lots of activities, and great food too.

Couchiching Jubilee House is hosting a Christmas open house this Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. Come get some hot chocolate, see what this place is all about, and maybe make a donation.

Hospice Orillia is hosting its Candles of Remembrance event at Creative Nomad Studios this Thursday at 6:30 p.m. For details, go here.

Don’t miss the reading of Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol that Dress for Success Orillia/Barrie and Green Haven are putting on, next Friday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. at St. Paul’s Centre. Readers are local celebs Marci Csumrik and Kyla Epstein, Simcoe North MP Adam Chambers, Mayor Don McIsaac, and Krista Storey. Blair Bailey will be on hand to direct and provide lots of music in between readings, with many guest artists, and there will be treats from local bakeries as well.

This is going to a be a really fun, family-friendly community event and tickets are only $25 for adults, $15 for youth, and kids 12 and under are free. Grab your tickets hereand know you will be in for a really fun evening and supporting two great causes.

That’s all for this week, if you have arts news, send it to by Tuesday at noon to be included.