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Arts part of holiday traditions

Hamilton, Ohio – It’s almost impossible to imagine December without the arts in some form or fashion.

Is it any wonder the Fitton Center for Creative Arts loves the holidays? They’re a distillation of what we do all year, and the year 2023 is no different.

Treasured carols “Silent Night” and “Joy to the World” combine with secular smashes like Mariah Carey’s ubiquitous “All I Want For Christmas Is You” – or the dangers of Whamageddon when hearing “Last Christmas” – to provide the soundtrack for the season.

So we bring in Miami University Music Professor Ben Smolder for The Joy of Christmas at the Celebrating Self luncheon December 6 to learn about the history of holiday music, complete with a sing-along section for some of the most beloved melodies. Animated favorites A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas paired with the entire catalogue of Rankin & Bass stop-motion specials like Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer and The Year Without a Santa Claus to create appointment viewing every year.

River City Puppets recall those feel-good programs with its new live show - Gingerbread Jamboree – which will delight the Fitton Family Fridays audience on December 1. (And don’t be surprised to get a taste of the culinary arts with the pre-show snacks served up by catering partner Two Women in a Kitchen.)

Remember the variety shows and holidays albums? Everyone from Bob Hope and Bing Crosby to the cast of the original Star Wars movie had a TV special covering music from every genre.

Just Vince & the Fellas return to the Fitton Showstoppers stage for A Motown and More Christmas December 9, taking us through the years and filling up our stockings with their soulful sounds.

Famous prints by Courier & Ives, Saturday Evening Post covers by Norman Rockwell, intricate hand-carved Nativity sets, ornaments kids make in second-grade art class and Griswold-level light displays add a visual component to the festivities.

Our Bake Sale – set up in a starring role of its own in the Dance Studio - accompanies each performance. Named for all the items created on site and fired in Fitton Center kilns, the expanded Holiday Bake Sale serves as a one-stop shop for all kinds of gifting needs.

The Fitton Center also hosts its partners from Performing Arts Inc. for their slate of holiday shows. Young, aspiring singers, dancers and actors present Finding Nemo Kids (7:30 p.m. December 5, 6 p.m. December 6 and 7, 5:30 p.m. December 10), Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Jr. (7:30 p.m. December 6 and 7) and Frozen (8 p.m. December 8, 7:30 p.m. December 10).

Can’t make it to the Fitton Center? No problem. Join us when the outreach team hits the road Saturday, December 9, to create holiday crafts during the Liberty Breakfast at the North Pole event from 8 to 10:30 a.m. at Liberty Christian Church.

And those are just our arts events in and around the Fitton Center. Our friends at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park have more than 1.5 million lights in their annual display. There’s the city-wide Hamilton’s Reindeer Game running through January 1, with a chance to win on of three prize packages. And pay a visit to the Big Man himself at the Hamilton Santa House weekends in December.

To name just a few.

Enjoy the season. Enjoy the arts. Enjoy the creativity. Enjoy making the memories that last a lifetime with family and friends. We’re thrilled to be a small part of your holiday traditions and look forward to celebrating with you for years to come.

The Fitton Center for Creative Arts is located at 101 S. Monument Avenue on the Riverfront in downtown Hamilton, Ohio.

Building Community Excellence through the Arts and Culture

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