As my little niece proclaims, “Y-ights – I want to the see the Y-ights!!.

Sacramento and our surrounding communities celebrate the month of December in many special ways. I have traveled to many areas of the country during the holidays – even London – but I have never seen greater use of lights on homes, in yards, and draped over trees as we have here in the Central Valley. But besides sending the turbines twirling at SMUD, our robust and brightly lit decorations are only part of the celebration each season. There is so much to DO here in the River City.

In this issue of the newsletter, Amy Lawrence highlights several wonderful events you just can’t miss — each having thousands of twinkling, beautiful “y-ights”, performances, street vendors, and more.

Liz Harrison directed a special event with new volunteer Shawn Scott on-location at the Community Center Theater featuring the traveling United States Air Force Concert Band of the Golden West. Don’t miss the “Honey – Bees” in this flawless holiday performance.    But the holiday season can also be difficult for some our neighbors, especially teens. Michelle Barbaria notes a more somber tone in her program, “Beautiful Youth” to be seen on a special holiday version of Livewire at the end of the month. The program features foster home youth turned out by our child protective system at the age of 18 with no “safety net” but rather, a hard life on the streets. Hear the story from the youth themselves in this special Livewire program featuring the film, “Beautiful Youth” by local filmmaker, Jennifer Lystrup. She and a small group of impacted youth, address these challenges and help us understand what can be done to improve their plight.

Two programs recently taped by the Access Sacramento Hometown-TV crew will be featured during the month and on our special “Holiday Reel” to be played on Christmas Eve and all Christmas Day.

On Thursday December 1, we recorded “Dancing With the Capitol Stars” – an exciting new fundraising event for the Sacramento Press Club Scholarship Fund. Envision Senator Darrell Steinberg imitating Frank Sinatra, KCRA TV news anchor Edie Lambert dancing the tango, and former Assembly Member Roger Neillo waltzing across the Crest Theater stage and you have a highly entertaining, fast-paced Sacramento version of the famous network TV program. Who one the prized “Mirror Ball” you ask? Tune-in to find out.

Of course, don’t miss our own “Holiday Party featuring Sister Swing”, their seven piece band and swing-dancers recorded here in the Coloma Center Auditorium December 4. All your favorite holiday tunes were beautifully sung by the trio, reminiscent of the Andrews Sisters and the voices who entertained “The Greatest Generation” during World War II.

And coming up on Wednesday December 14 Santa will once again fly down the TV Studios chimney from the North Pole to guest star on a special one-hour “Livewire” holiday event. If your son or daughter (from 3-8 years old) would like to appear on the program with Santa and his elves, just call (916) 456-8600 ext. 116 and talk to Michelle, the Livewire producer.

Here’s a line-up of some of the special back-to-back programming we will feature on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. In addition to the programs highlighted above, we will feature:

  • The 2011 Veterans Day Parade on Capitol Mall
  • The Sacramento Chinese Cultural Foundation Silver Jubilee – Beijing Performers
  • 2010 “A Celebration of Lights” Performance by the Galena Street Singers & Dancers
  • Fairytale Town’s Book Festival
  • 2011 “A Place Called Sacramento” Film Festival
  • and MORE

And concluding another eventful year, on New year’s Day we feature 24 hours of the “Best of Amy Goodman” – her best, most provocative “Democracy Now!” newscasts from the year that was – 2011.

Celebrating another holiday season and Merry Christmas, we are Access Sacramento – “making a difference one voice, one program at a time – all year long!”. Thank you for your support.