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Featured Fara Illich December 7, 2010

The holidays are in full swing in Downtown Phoenix with a plethora of classic performances and events that are sure to get you into the spirit of the season, beginning tonight at 7 p.m. with KTAR’s 25th Annual Christmas Carol at Orpheum Theatre. An all-star cast retells the classic tale in old-time radio fashion. Get to the theater early (doors open at 6 p.m.) and enjoy Dickens-inspired carolers.
mariachiYou can get into spirits of a different kind Saturday and Sunday at the Phoenix Tequila Fest and the 19th Annual Christmas Mariachi Festival, both at US Airways Center. While the all-day tastings and margarita challenge are obvious huge draws, there will also be food from Macayo’s, Dos Gringos, La Parrilla Suiza, and America’s Taco Shop. Mariachis provide Saturday evening’s entertainment and Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers close the festival on Sunday with a 6 p.m. concert. Don’t forget that your event ticket gets you a free ride to and from on METRO light rail and the Sheraton is offering a special $89 room rate to festival goers. Call 800.325.3535 to make reservations.
winterventionMidwest and East Coast transplants can get their winter fixes in a couple of ways: CityScape’s skating rink is open daily 3-11 p.m. (over 1,000 people laced up their skates last weekend alone) and Warren Miller’s Wintervention makes its yearly stop at Orpheum Theatre Wednesday evening  at 8 p.m. Narrated by skiing legend Jonny Moseley and celebrating its 60th year, Wintervention’s HD visuals will have you hugging your snowboard.
iCollaborative presents That’s What Christmas Means, an all-new holiday cabaret playing Dec. 9-22 at Herberger Theater Center. Shows start at 8 p.m. but you can come down early and enjoy the nightclub setting of the Kax Stage.
Ballet Arizona presents Ib Andersen’s The Nutcracker Dec. 10-26 at Symphony Hall. It’s Ballet Arizona’s 25th season sharing this wonderous tale and to celebrate they’ve amped up their production with sets but Carey Wong and costumes by Fabio Toblini.
The Downtown Ambassadors will host the second of three Festive Fridays this week at Arizona Center. Not only will there be free music by Soul Power and food by your favorite Arizona Center restaurants like 1130, Sam’s Cafe, and My Big Fat Greek Restaurant from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., but retailers will be on hand to help you with your holiday shopping.  
catsFinally, while it has absolutely nothing to with the holidays, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the 18th Annual Phoenix Feline Fanciers Cat Show, happening Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Phoenix Convention Center’s South Building. Think Best In Show, only for cats, with over 300 “fancy felines” competing for kitty gold. Many vendors will be on hand selling cat clothes, scratching posts, gourmet food, jewelry, and probably a whole mess of stuff you can’t imagine let alone dream you could buy.