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An old-fashioned family Christmas at the CCAC

  • The men traditionally provide the service for the women at the annual Women’s Extravaganza. (Press photo James Grob.)

  • Members of the Charles City High School Jazz Choir “Rhymes with Orange,” perform “Carol of the Bells” Saturday at the Women’s Extravaganza. (Press photo James Grob.)

By James Grob,

Like a lot of traditions, this one happened by chance.

Charles City Arts Center Director Jacqueline Davidson said that when she was named director two years ago, the CCAC board decided to have a Christmas party to help introduce her to the community.

Coincidentally, the party was scheduled for the same night as Charles City’s Lighted Parade.

Rather than reschedule, the group decided that if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

“It worked out wonderfully,” Davidson said. “It was cold, we watched the parade through the windows on all sides. We had hot chocolate and hot apple cider and eggnog and goodies.”

At the last minute, the Charles City Singers joined them, turning a good thing into a great thing.

“We sang Christmas carols and decorated the tree and made it an old-fashioned Christmas,” Davidson said. “We did it again last year, and we went outside and watched the parade because the weather was better.”

The weather report is threatening to push everything inside this year, but the parade route is again set to run right past the CCAC building.

“If it’s really cold, everyone can watch the parade from inside, looking out the big windows,” Davidson said.

The third annual Christmas Party for the CCAC will take place this evening (Friday), starting at 5 p.m., to coincide with Charles City’s 2018 Lighted Parade, which starts at Blunt Street, downtown.

The theme for the parade this year is “Family Christmas Movie Night,” and after the parade, the community will celebrate “Hollidazzle,” which will include fun and games in Central Park starting at 6:20 p.m., and retailers open until 8 p.m. for late night shopping.

Davidson said that the Charles City Singers will be at the CCAC singing Christmas songs, and people can join in and sing along with them. There will be tree decorating, building decorating, hot chocolate, spiced cider and tasty goodies.

“It’s like a family Christmas party,” Davidson said.

The party will also include a silent auction of artwork by Jody Flint, a longtime Charles City resident who donated some of her work. There may be some readings of ghost stories from Christmas past, and Davidson said there would also be some “Mexican hot chocolate,” made by one of the art center volunteers.

“I guess it has some spices in it, so that should be interesting,” Davidson said.

Visitors will also get the chance to check out the artwork and crafts currently on display and for sale at the CCAC’s Holiday Art Market.

“We’ve got some wonderful stuff,” Davidson said. “Everything in here is priced extremely well for Christmas.”

Davidson said the CCAC is constantly getting new items in.

“Every week something new arrives,” she said.

The market is a chance for local artists and a few crafters to display their work, as well as a chance for the public to learn more about the CCAC.

“It’s not just holiday-themed. We have a lot of other things to, but we like to have a holiday feel to it,” said Davidson.

The CCAC has expanded its Saturday hours to 5 p.m. for the duration of the sale, which will run through Dec. 22.