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Non skiers will find lots to see and do, too

Dan Bischoff, Of the Record staff

The Holidays can be a time for families and friends to bond together. The events occurring in Park City this season include just the right amount of ingredients to make that happen and that doesn’t mean, necessarily, hitting the slopes.

"I think what sets (Park City) apart is we have such a lively eclectic arts community that is unlike other resort towns," said Park City Performing Arts Foundation director Teri Orr.

On a daily basis, residents can find anything from art and museums to quality music and shows throughout the holidays

The Park City Museum is a good place for people to start if they don’t know the background of what once was a thriving mining town.

"People can come visit and find out what the beginnings of Park City was like. They can find out what it was like being a miner, find out what it was like being a couple thousand feet under the ground. They can find out how it went from a mining town to a ski town," said Johanna Fassbender, the curator of education at the museum.

People can also check out the skier subway located inside the museum. When people first started skiing Park City’s slopes, skiers used a mining shaft elevator to take them up the mountain.

"They didn’t have enough lifts and they used the old mining tunnels," Fassbender said. "They took the elevator up the mining shaft. It was very exciting in the beginning."

The museum also holds an original stagecoach from the stagecoach line that passed through Park City. The museum is currently playing a movie that documents the Olympic highlights. There are coloring activities and other games for kids. The jail located in the basement of the museum is also a hit, Fassbender said.

"It’s always exciting for kids to see the jail teenagers also," Fassbender said. "Some go in and go straight to the Jail. If people are interested in seeing what Park City looked like 100 years ago, we have photo bins with all kinds of photos about Park City. There are things for old and young."

The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. and closed on Christmas day.

Visitors can also grab a little bit of movie flavor from The Park City Film Series during the holidays. Frank Normile chose movies fit for families. Normile said the film series board deliberately chose a "wide divergence of programming material for the holiday season."

"We knew we would have a lot of visitors here," Normile said. "Part of our mission is to bring great cinema for locals and visitors. We knew it would be family friendly and we wouldn’t play anything Sunday because it was Christmas Eve. We wanted to respond to the needs of visitors."

The Park City Film Series will present "Lassie" Dec. 22 and 23 at 8 p.m. at the Jim Santy Auditorium, 1255 Park Ave. People can get a sneak peak at what the Sundance Film Festival is all about on Jan. 4. The Sundance Institute and The Park City Film Series will present a free screening of "Clear Cut: The Story of Philomath, Oregon," at 7 p.m. at the Jim Santy Auditorium. There will be an interactive discussion with special guests will following the film. For more information on movies and start times, call 615-8291.

The Kimball Art Center is also catering to the visitors this season. If anyone wants to learn to paint instead of learning to carve lines on skis or snowboards, the Kimball is the place. It’s the on demand art education center.

"If you have a group of six or more, you can call and ask for a class. They can do whatever they want," said Susan Thomas of the Kimball. "They could do pottery on the wheel or painting. You get to pick the time and day."

The Kimball is also holding two scheduled pottery classes at the end of December and into the first of January, for those who don’t have a group of six people.

If people love art but don’t want to paint, Main street is full of art galleries. A walk up the street will expose the eyes to a plethora of varied works from artists across the country.

A good way to experience the art scene is to attend the Park City Gallery Association’s Stroll and Live Jazz Night, presented by the Kimball Art Center, which will take place Dec. 29 from 6 to 9 pm. The Kimball Art Center partners with 23 Old Town Park City galleries and restaurants to give visitors a taste of fine art and hors d’oeuvres. The stroll starts at the Kimball where visitors can listen to jazz music while they tour the Kimball’s exhibits. There are maps of the galleries and strollers can meander through Main Street as they please.

The Kimball is currently featuring the Best in Show Exhibition from the Museum of Glass. The exhibit features works by David Gilhooly, William Wegman and Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen. Three artists who celebrate the playful relationship between humans and dogs in photography, prints, sculpture in glass and ceramics. They are also showing the Park City Professional Artists Association "A Dog’s Town" in the Badami Gallery. Select members of the association pay tribute to Park City’s canine community through a variety of artistic mediums. The Kimball is also showing its holiday glass ornament display in the Garage Gallery, featuring handmade glass ornaments by local and regional artists.

Many of the galleries have artist receptions during the stroll. Among them, the Julie Nester Gallery is hosting artists Robin Denevan and the Meyer Gallery, which claims the distinction as the oldest gallery in Utah, is hosting Cheryl Warrick. For more information on the gallery stroll or classes, call 649-8882.

Fitting for the holidays, the Egyptian Theatre is showing "White Christmas" through Dec. 30.

"It’s an old fashion classical musical that can be enjoyed by young or old. Anyone that is familiar with the movies, they can see it right here on stage," said Dana Durbano, the director of the Egyptian Theatre.

"White Christmas" is one of the shows the Egyptian is proud to show this year. Durbano says it’s perfect for visitors and families.

"It’s the traditional classic Christmas story with traditional songs," Durbano said. "This is where the original "I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas" was born. This is for anyone that wants to get out of the storm.

"It pulls at the heart strings," Durbano continued. "It’s a good old clean traditional show full of song and dance perfect show for the holidays. This is what we like to provide for the tourists and the locals for the holidays. Something that the whole family can enjoy. It’s full of magic; it’s full of Christmas. It doesn’t get any better than this. This is our gift to the community.

The show plays Wednesdays through Saturdays. After Christmas, the show will play every night and twice on Saturdays

"We always sell out the last week of Christmas," Durbano said. "With the tourists starting to arrive in town, it will be sold out."

For more information and tickets on "White Christmas," call the Egyptian Theatre at 649-9371.

Park City wouldn’t be complete without the Park City Performing Arts Foundation (PCPAF) shows during the holidays. This year, it is presenting a back-to-back impressive lineup starting with Wynonna and Streb.

"I think those are both performances that do span generations," said PCPAF director Teri Orr. "They span the spectrum of well-known to emerging. Wynonna is a country legend. She’ll be performing with a small band, kind of a Wynonna unplugged."

Part of the proceeds from Wynonna tickets will go toward the school district and PCPAF’s student outreach program.

"Streb has been featured in both the New York Times and CBS," Orr said. "Elizabeth Streb, she’s a very avant garde choreographer. It’s a very pioneering group, a hybrid between gymnastics, modern dance, cirque company and an anti-gravity group. They defy laws of gravity. They bring in an amazing apparatus on stage, like humans on a hamster wheel."

Streb will perform Dec. 29-31, including a matinee.

"What we’ve done is offer a matinee, clearly to target families that want to do something with younger children or older people that want to go to a performance and go to dinner afterwards," Orr said. "When you are on vacation you make time to see something special."

PCPAF’s tickets fluctuate and it offers discounts to seniors and children. For tickets and more information on the PCPAF’s shows, call 655-3114.

For more information on events in Park City during the holidays, see the entertainment calendar by clicking on the "entertainment" link.


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