Radar: Winter Solstice Festival, An Electric Christmas Freak Out, Vanguard Comedy Theatre's Christmas Miracle, A Bluesy Christmas Concert, Nightmare Before Christmas at the Social
FESTIVAL | Winter Solstice Festival at Kensington Market
Today is the shortest day of the year and to celebrate the fact that it's all uphill from here, the Red Pepper Spectacle Arts group is staging their annual Festival of Lights in Kensington Market. Last year the fest had to be canceled due to the early onset of the Canadian winter, so we're long overdue for one of the most exciting and unpredictable spectacles of the year. Tonight more than a thousand revelers will do their best to scare the darkness away with fire-eating acrobats, lanterns, giant puppets, stilt walkers and anything else they can think of. It's a participatory event so grab your cap and bells and join the parade.
Kensington Market, Oxford St. and Augusta Ave., 6 pm
PARTY | An Electric Christmas Freak-Out
The Christmas stocking is stuffed with psychedelia at this Horseshoe jam featuring performances from kaleidoscope enthusiasts La Casa Muerte and Sadie May Crash. The bands will be joined by Edge 102.1 personality Barry Taylor, coquettish blogger Raymi the Minx, and underground comic superstar Sean Ward. With a lineup like this, it probably would have been more fitting to call it an Eclectic Christmas Freak Out, but I suppose that's just splitting hairs. Be a good lil' party-goer and bring a donation to the Daily Bread Food Bank.
Horseshoe Tavern, 368 Queen St. W., Free with donation to the Food Bank, 9 pm
COMEDY | Vanguard Comedy Theatre's Christmas Miracle
Fledgling comedy group Vanguard Theatre returns with only their second ever show after a successful stint at the Supermarket earlier this month. There's an entire evening of improv on the menu and first up is the Thunderdome in which teams of improv troupes will go head-to-head to in a winner-takes-all fight to the comedy death. Followed by the dreaded Vortex, in which the talented comedians will spin out a 30-minute improvised scene based on only a single word provided from the audience.
Supermarket, 268 Augusta Ave., $5, 6 pm
PARTY | Nightmare Before Christmas at the Social
The Sky's the Limit party planners bring you this second annual pre-Christmas throw down geared towards Toronto's college crowd. School's out so there are a few more weeks before you have to crack open another book and you're still days away from having to look presentable to the rest of the fam. Now's a perfect time to guzzle a couple of drinks and get your party on. The Social makes it easy on the wallet with $2 drinks before 11 pm.
The Social, 1100 Queen St. W., 10 pm
MUSIC | A Bluesy Christmas Concert
Some of the biggest names in Canadian blues and jazz hit up Hugh's Room over the next two nights for a set of concerts that will put the cool back in Christmas. Brooklyn-born Shakura S'Aida is known all over the world as one of the most entertaining singers on the jazz circuit and has graced such noted stages as New York's Apollo Theatre. Singer, songwriter and harmonica player Jerome Goodboo's talent has brought him gigs alongside Prince, the Tragically Hip and the great Levon Helm. Many more artists round out the impressive bill. First of two nights tonight.
Hugh's Room, 2261 Dundas St. W., $25 advance, $30 door, 8:30 pm
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