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Holiday spirit abounds in upcoming local performances
Barber Shop Christmas 1
The Center for Urban Performance and Service and Westside Ministries will present “Barber Shop Christmas,” inspired by actual local events on Saturday (Photo contributed).

The Christmas season shifts into full gear this weekend as holiday performances and spectacles abound for residents of Turlock.

On Saturday, you can take a trip back into time — Central California of the 1990s, to be exact — for a special performance by the Center for Urban Performance and Service and Westside Ministries of “Barber Shop Christmas.”

There are two showings of the production, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. (doors open 30 minutes prior to showtime) at the Turlock Community Theatre, 1574 E. Canal Dr. Admission is $10.

Inspired by actual events, you can expect more than just a haircut when you walk into Anthony’s Barber Shop.

“It’s a story about Anthony Valadez, a barber with a small shop in Modesto,” said Sunshine Sakuda, youth director at Westside Ministries. “He would minister to his customers and he developed a special relationship with one particular customer named ‘Uncle’ Garry Mason.”

The Center for Urban Performance and Service began in 1998 as a performing arts ministry for inner-city kids designed to teach them how to use their creative gifts. Since its inception, the ministry has grown from teaching tambourines and flags to offering a multitude of classes in the performing arts including, but not limited to ballet, jazz, hip-hop, tap, folklorico dancing, acting, and aerial arts.

The ministry provides a Christian-based environment for students of all ages to learn and grow their talents while being encouraged to serve others.

For more information about the performance, call 209-667-9020 or visit

On Dec. 16 and 17, Backstage Academy of Dance will showcase its 38th annual “Twisted Nutcracker” performance at the Turlock Community Theatre.

For more than a century, “The Nutcracker” has been a holiday favorite, and Backstage Academy of Dance puts its special twist on this classic to include ballet and pointe work, as well as jazz, lyrical, and hip-hop pieces.

Twisted Nutcracker
Backstage Academy of Dance will showcase its annual “Twisted Nutcracker” performance at the Turlock Community Theatre Dec. 16 and 17 (Photo contributed).

The role of Clara will be danced by Norah Frank and the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy will  be danced by Sydney Lloyd, while the role of Herr Drosselmeyer will be performed by Gregory Perez. They will be joined by a cast of about 90 dancers.

After each performance, there will be a Sugar Plum Party where audience members can see the characters and enjoy treats.

The show starts at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 16, with two shows — at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. — on Dec. 17. Tickets cost between $12 and $25.

For more information, call 209-667-8511.

If you’re looking for more holiday fun, but don’t feeling like dressing up or don’t have the time for a theater performance, then check out the Rock’n Christmas Light Show at Calvary Baptist Church, 700 E. Monte Vista Ave. (across from the DMV), Wednesday to Sunday, through Dec. 23.

The shows begin at 6 p.m. and run every 20 minutes up to 9 p.m.

Best of all … it’s free. So, load up a car full of friends and family and enjoy this immersive Christmas story

For more information, call Calvary Baptist Church at 209-632-2391 or the Rock Church at 209-620-6145.

If you’re looking for something to help keep the kids busy, consider the Little Artist Competition, which gives them the possibility of winning an Apple iPad and Pencil. It’s simple: Have your child (ages 3 to 8) draw a picture of their favorite place in Turlock (use 8.5 x 11 paper only). Then, help your child write down why they love that place. Finally, drop of your drawings at Impact Prints, 1140 N. Front St., from 9 to 6 p.m. up to Dec. 22. As a bonus, Impact Prints will collect letters to Santa Claus to make sure they’re delivered to the North Pole.

Judging takes place Dec. 23 by Mayor Amy Bublak, Chamber of Commerce director Gina Blom and local artist Alyssa Moon.