.Things to Do in Santa Cruz: Dec. 21-27

The Serpentine Solstice Hafla, ‘The Nutcracker,’ Roaring Camp Holiday Lights and Chanukah Trains and more


POI ROGERS Somewhere in between the tropical lounges of 1930s Los Angeles and the honky tonks of rural 1950s California, you’ll find Poi Rogers. The Santa Cruz duo—Gerard Egan and Carolyn Sills—performs vintage country-western swing, Hawaiian steel guitar ballads and cowboy tunes anchored by breathtaking harmonies. Both musicians are inductees into the Sacramento Western Swing Hall of Fame, and Sills is the Academy of Western Artists Western Swing Female Vocalist of the Year. Meanwhile, Egan doubles up on acoustic guitar and his 1954 Fender triple neck steel guitar. Free. Wednesday, Dec. 21, 5pm. The Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. thecrepeplace.com.

THE SERPENTINE SOLSTICE HAFLA After a three-year break, Serpentine Solstice Hafla returns to celebrate the year’s darkest night. The Middle Eastern celebration of life is an unforgettable dance showcase that features every type of body moving imaginable: belly dancing, burlesque, breakdancing, Samba, Ukrainian fusion, fire dancing and more. The booty shaking is just one piece of a giant puzzle that includes a DJ, MCs, local jewelry vendors and a tarot card reader—if you are in the mood for some soul searching. Formal attire is recommended, so come gussied up. The theme is “A Sparkling Soiree” to light up the night. Sequins and sparkles are recommended. The “Most Glittering” dressed will be awarded a prize. $25/$30 plus fees. Wednesday, Dec. 21, 7pm. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. moesalley.com.

‘THE NUTCRACKER’ It’s the 10th anniversary of the 2022 Agape Dance Academy’s Nutcracker Ballet, a special holiday tradition. This season Agape Dance welcomes Yeva Ziniak, the newest company dancer who fled Ukraine with her family. A portion of the ticket sales will be donated to Nova Ukraine, an organization providing humanitarian aid to Ukrainians during the ongoing struggle. $35-50. Wednesday, Dec. 21, and Thursday, Dec. 22, 2:30pm and 6:30pm. Cabrillo College Crocker Theater, 6500 Perimeter Drive, Aptos. agapedance.com.


STANFORD CARDINAL VS. LOYOLA CHICAGO RAMBLERS Josue Gil-Silva played only two minutes during Stanford’s 85-40 Dec. 16 victory over Green Bay Phoenix. However, those two minutes might have been the best two minutes of his life. On Dec. 1, Stanford coach Jarod Haase added Gil-Silva to the roster after two years as team manager. He’s now teammates with his cousin Isa Silva, a star point guard from Sacramento. Gil-Silva remembers dreaming of wearing a Cardinal jersey as a kid. And now, his dream has come true. Time to see what he can do against the Ramblers. $12-175. Thursday, Dec. 22, 7pm. Kaiser Permanente Arena, 140 Front St., Santa Cruz. ticketmaster.com/event/1C005D0A97A119A1.

ROARING CAMP HOLIDAY LIGHTS TRAIN Vintage excursion cars adorned with thousands of colorful lights roll through Santa Cruz streets. Passengers lend their voices to holiday carols and sip spiced cider while Santa visits with the little ones and the young at heart. $44.95; $32.95/children. Thursday, Dec. 22, and Friday, Dec. 23, 4:30pm. Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, 400 Beach St., Santa Cruz. beachboardwalk.com/holiday-train-rides.

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TOY TRAINS 2022 Get whisked away into the whimsical world of toy trains and enjoy the 17th year of this adored annual pop-up exhibit. From Lionel Pennsylvania Flyers and the Lionel Polar Express to the Lionel Union Pacific Flyer LionChief Train Set and the Hornby Flying Scotsman, it’s a magical miniature world where anything is possible. Free with MAH admission. Thursday, Dec. 22 through Saturday, Dec. 24, noon. Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, 705 Front St., Santa Cruz. santacruzmah.org.

SANTA CRUZ CHANUKAH TRAIN Make sure you arrive early; the menorah will be lit 15 minutes before the train departs. Kosher refreshments will be provided throughout the ride. Play dreidel and enjoy Chanukah stories as the train travels through the streets of Santa Cruz. $44.95; $32.95/children. Monday, Dec. 26, 5:15pm. Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, 400 Beach St., Santa Cruz. beachboardwalk.com/holiday-train-rides.

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