It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Local holiday show opening Friday, ice rink opens Monday
By: Don Chaddock, The Telegraph
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With only week until Thanksgiving, the holiday season is kicking off in Folsom with an ice skating rink and a local holiday theatrical production. Stage Nine Theater on Sutter Street will be transformed into Folsom in the late 1800s, bringing colorful characters from the town’s rich past to life during “Holiday in the Hills.” Just down the street, Folsom's first ice skating rink was originally scheduled to open Friday and run through Jan. 19, but has been delayed until Monday and will run through Jan. 25. “Holiday in the Hills” runs Nov. 21 through Dec. 28 at the theater at 717 Sutter Street in Historic Folsom and actors range in age from 7 to 70, according to Mike Jimena. “This is a great community performance,” he said. “It’s a great show.” Jimena portrays the editor of The Folsom Telegraph in the 1860s, Peter J. Hopper. “We spent a lot of time in the Folsom History Museum looking at old newspaper clippings and archives,” he said. “We chose real people who were alive at the time, but the story is made up.” It is the third year for the production and many of the actors and singers will also perform musical numbers during the town’s tree lighting ceremony on Sutter Street on Friday, Dec. 5. The theater seats about 50, Jimena said, and they offer numerous chances to see the show. “Basically, it’s a celebration of the Historic District,” he said. “The songs are all traditional and fun and funky. It’s meant to get everyone in the holiday spirit.” The new ice skating rink will make its debut just a few days later. Folsom Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Joe Gagliardi said the ice skating rink will add something special to Folsom. “This whole development down here includes a plaza when it’s built out, so we decided to try to stimulate activity in the area with an ice rink,” he said. “We came to recognize there’s only one other ice rink in the whole region and (Folsom’s has) been done with remarkable speed, to tell you the truth.” Gagliardi said the rink will complement existing holiday activities. “We already do the tree lighting in December and this is one thing we always wanted to do here in town and the opportunity (arose),” he said. “This gives families a chance to bring down their young children. We get a lot of input from people who say there is nothing for teens and families to do in the winter.” Gagliardi, who also heads the Folsom Tourism Bureau, said they’ve managed to strike deals with local hotels and the ski resorts at Tahoe to offer a package to entice out-of-towners to Folsom. “We are also using (the rink) as part of the ‘Chill and Thrill’ package, which gives us something more to market,” he said. “One of the objectives of the package is to bring people from out of town. The ice rink is just one element of it. There are two ski tickets and free transportation included in the package. And if you don’t like skiing, you can be doing shopping or wine tasting here while the rest of the family goes up to ski.” Jimena said he’s excited about what the ice rink could do for the Historic District. “We need to expose the area to how cool the Historic District is,” he said. “Folsom will be really proud.” The next event taking place in Historic Folsom is the tree lighting ceremony on Friday, Dec. 5 beginning at 6 p.m. According to Jimena, there will also be “snow flurries” in the 700 block of Sutter Street. “We’re bringing in snow machines to give Sutter Street a real holiday feel,” he said. Sally Howard, with the Folsom Chamber of Commerce, said the event will feature photos with Santa, wagon rides, entertainment, face painting and 1,000 glowing luminaries. Admission to the festivities is free. --- Holiday in the Hills Friday, Nov. 21-Sunday, Dec. 28 Friday and Saturday 8 p.m. Sunday 4 p.m. Tickets: $22 general, $20 seniors, $15 children 12 and under Reservation: 353-1001