The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

December 4, 2012

Downtown offers holiday activities

BY JENNIFER BAILEY
Commercial-News

DANVILLE — The Fischer Theatre will host a holiday event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday to coincide with downtown Danville’s A Winter’s Gathering.

A Winter’s Gathering presented by Downtown Danville, Inc. will be Friday and Saturday in downtown Danville.

Special events Friday include Downtown with the Dashers. This is an evening of activities and prizes at the Danville Dashers hockey game vs. Cape Cod at 7 p.m. at the David S. Palmer Arena. Attendees also can visit with Santa.

Special events on Saturday include a Scavenger Hunt from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Forms can be picked up and dropped off at the Fischer Theatre’s north entrance for a chance to win a holiday gift basket.

The Heron, 34 N. Vermilion St., will be open for the third annual A Holiday Open House and feature a variety of vendors from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. There also will be sales and special activities downtown for the holidays during both days.

Visit the website http://downtowndanville.org for more specials from a variety of downtown businesses.

There also are a variety of things to see and shop for at the Fischer Theatre, according to Amy Chrisman, Vermilion Heritage Foundation board member.

Activities at the Fischer Theatre include on-the-hour tours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. into the auditorium with a short singing performance by Danville Light Opera members on stage.

“(Theatre-goers) can go into the auditorium and be entertained,” Chrisman said, adding that the DLO members will sing some songs. “They (attendees) can hear the amazing acoustics in there.”

In addition to being able to hear signing on the stage, patrons also will hear about the theater’s history, such as who’s performed there in the past.

Guests are encouraged to wear their coats and hats as the un-restored theater is not heated.

By popular demand, retro soda tastings will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the café with new flavors to sample. The cost is $5 for 12 samples and includes a free bag of theater popcorn. Glass bottled soda will be available to purchase. Six packs of mixed varieties also will be for sale.

“We just got the fridge all stocked up for the event. There are more new varieties to taste and sample and purchase,” Chrisman said.

New flavors include Dang Butterscotch Root Beer and Blenheim Ginger Ale.

Tying into the old-time soda theme will be a unique bake sale incorporating baked treats and confectionary items made from flavored sodas. Ginger ale bread, 7-Up cake, Moxie muffins and Dr. Pepper, Root Beer and Orange Crush cupcakes are some of the types of items that will be available.

“All items made will have soda in them. That is a first,” Chrisman said.

Members of the Danville Barbershop Chorus might make an appearance in the new Arts and Entertainment Museum located in the lobby. They are expected to set the tone for the event with their harmonic, a-cappella singing, according to Chrisman.

Santa will be appearing at the Fischer from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Stage Presents, the Fischer Theatre gift shop, known for its Danville souvenirs and locally-crafted items and books, will be brimming with an assortment of handcrafted ornaments and gifts made by area artisans.

Gift baskets featuring The Best of Danville will be offered. Best-selling items pertaining to the Danville area will be gathered for sale.

Chrisman said the gift baskets will include best-selling items in the gift shop “that are made locally or are about Danville, the Fischer and the celebrities.”

The gift baskets will have different price points and include items such as note cards of the city’s landmarks, Fischer Theatre bricks, soaps made locally, Fischer ornaments and Walldogs magnets and mugs.

Another unique item will be nostalgic gift baskets filled with retro candies and bottled soda that will be packaged in vintage-style soda carriers.

“I’m excited about the retro candies and soda gift baskets,” Chrisman said, in addition to the bake sale and soda event. “That will be fun.”

Customers need to be aware that the gift shop is a cash and check only establishment and is unable to accept credit and debit cards. Money raised from this event benefits the Fischer Theatre.

Donations are greatly appreciated, and volunteers are always welcome.

For more information about the Fischer Theatre, visit the website http://www.fischertheatre.com or find it on Facebook.