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SOUTH ON 101: Santa Barbara rife with revels this weekend

SOUTH ON 101: Santa Barbara rife with revels this weekend

Awaiting in Santa Barbara this weekend: a nighttime boat parade, holiday “revels,” dueling “Nutcrackers” and much more!

‘The King and the Fool’

The hilarious Christmas Revels are based on medieval celebrations. “The King and the Fool,” their holiday show, is set in old England and features a tale of a contest of wits, words and weapons. A cast of more than 60 revelers, young and old, also enact a traditional “mummers” play, crown the Lord of Misrule, and lead a zany version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Don’t expect to sit in your seat: Singing, dancing and audience participation are encouraged.

The Christmas Revels are tonight and tomorrow at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Marjorie Luke Theatre (in Santa Barbara Junior High, 721 E. Cota St.). Tickets cost $26 and $36 for adults, $21 and $13 for kids, and $41 to $61 for Patron tickets with VIP seating. (Tickets at the Lobero: 963-0761,

Parade of Lights

One of Santa Barbara’s most lovely holiday events is the Parade of Lights, held after dark Sunday along the waterfront. Thirty to 50 decorated boats, vying for prizes in five categories, parade from East Beach to the Yacht Club, followed by fireworks.

The fun actually begins at 3 p.m. at City Pier in the Harbor, with a chance to visit with Santa, play in snow, and sing holiday songs. A tree-lighting ceremony at Stearns Wharf kicks off the parade at 5:30 p.m., and there’s a post-parade party at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum. It’s all free, but it can be cold, so dress warmly. (897-1962)

Ice Skaters and Nutcrackers

The Lobero, Arlington and Granada theaters all have holiday performances this weekend, so it’s hard to decide among them.

The Montecito School of Ballet presents “The Night Before Christmas” and “Les Patineurs” at 7:30 p.m. tonight and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Lobero — the 18th annual productions. The first piece takes its cue from the famous poem by Clement Moore, complete with dancing sugarplums and a visit from St. Nick. “Les Patineurs” means “The Skaters” and features wonderful group “skating” by the ballet students joined by professional dancers from Santa Barbara Dance Theatre. Tickets cost $21 for adults, $17 for students and $13 for children. (963-0761,

State Street Ballet, Santa Barbara’s premiere professional company, dances their “Nutcracker” at the glorious Granada at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Theirs is an opulent production, and also features students from Gustafson Dance. Tickets cost $28 to $58 for adults, $17 for kids. (899-2222,

Across the street at the Arlington, Santa Barbara Festival Ballet mounts their “Nutcracker” at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, and 2:30 and 7 p.m. Sunday. Their production has a live orchestra and features professionals and dancers from the Santa Barbara Ballet Center, who give the performance a joyful energy. Tickets range from $25 to $42 for adults and $20 to $35 for kids. (963-4408,

Julia McHugh can be reached at


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