The Nutcracker in Santa Barbara, which kicks off on December 13, is a time honored tradition and the perfect way to ring in the holiday season. The Santa Barbra Festival Ballet performs the Nutcracker from December 13 and 14 at The Arlington Theater. This year marks the 40th annual performances of this legendary holiday ballet. The Santa Barbara Festival Ballet School and Company has a distinguished reputation on not only the West Coast, but across the country as well — founded in 1864, there is a rich dance history associated with this ballet company. The Nutcracker in Santa Barbara Gala and Alumni Reception takes place on Saturday, December 13.
Tickets for the gala are $50 to purchase, please visit thearlingtontheatre.com. The ‘Friends of Clara’ association is the community outreach branch of the Santa Barbara Festival Ballet company. One of the unique aspects of this community arm is their involvement in assisting local children and students and families to experience the ballet.
After the ballet, head out to a late lunch and enjoy some of the best dining options that Santa Barbara has to offer. Finch & Fork (31 W. Carillo Street) serves up modern spins on classic favorites like deviled eggs, lamb burgers and milk shakes in mason jars. Cuernavaca (201 W. Carillo Street) serves excellent Mexican food, with everything from Al Postor tortas and to shrimp and queso tacos. For seafood and wine, check out The Hungry Cat (1134 Chapala Street). The Hungry Cat is known for their vast wine selection as well as a delicious chorizo clam plate and scallop ceviche. We can’t think of a better way to ring in the holidays after watching an outstanding performance of the Nutcracker in Santa Barbara.