Events galore as residents celebrate the Christmas season

Samantha Hill

Livingston is full of cheer as Christmas season events grow nearer. Following is a rundown of local happenings.


Swinging Christmas Ball

First on the docket, for Friday, is the Swinging Christmas Ball at the Elks Lodge, which is a fundraiser for the local Christmas Basket Program.

The dance, which starts at 7 p.m. according to a news release, features Lucky Pockets and the Melody Rockets, who will perform western swing classics. The band features members of the popular Open Range band Ric Steinke and Linda Hausler, Dean Anderson and Wes Horton.

Tickets are available at multiple locations around town. Prices are $15 for adults and $5 for children ages 6 through 12. Five dollars from every adult ticket will be split between the Livingston Food Resource Center and the Elks Lodge Christmas Basket Program. The program serves over 300 needy families in the Livingston area every year. Funds from the dance will help provide more food and toys for the program, the release said.


Holiday Vaudeville Show

On that same Friday is the start of the Vaudeville Christmas Show at the Shane Lalani Center for the Arts.

Production Manager Dewey Kemp  said this is the ninth year of the production of the variety show, and every year there is always something new to look forward to.

Familiar songs will be changed and serious and funny acts will be performed in the two-hour show.

Rehearsals for the show began last week, which seems like a short time compared to some of the center’s other performances, but Kemp said the group does this to keep the jokes fresh without being overworked.

“Everyone seems to have a lot of fun watching us do this every year,” he said.

The event begins Friday, Dec. 9, and continues throughout the weekend, with the last day Dec. 18. Fridays and Saturdays, the show begins at 8 p.m., and on Sundays, it begins at 3 p.m.

Tickets are on sale at 222-1420 or online at They are $18 for adults, $14 for students and seniors, and $10 for children 17 years and younger.

‘The Nutcracker’

The following day, Dec. 10, “The Nutcracker” ballet will begin. For the past several years, the event has been hosted in Bozeman, but it will be in Livingston this year.

“The Nutcracker” is the classic tale of a young girl, Clara, who dreams that her Nutcracker is really a prince. The ballet features Little Bo Peep and The Sugar Plum Fairy among a whole cast of colorful characters, according to a Yellowstone Ballet Company release.

Clara is played by Park High 10th-grader Eva Molina, while the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Nutcracker Prince is played by visiting dancers Rania Charalambidou and Dionysios Mitsios, both of Boulder, Colorado.

Performances will be both Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 10 and 11, starting at 4 p.m., at Sleeping Giant Middle School. Children attending the ballet are encouraged to dress as their favorite “Nutcracker” character for an opportunity at prizes during intermission.

Tickets are $15 for adults $10 for children and are $2 more at the door. Tickets are available at


The Community Choir Concert

The Livingston Community Choir Concert along with the St. Andrew’s Children’s Choir will be in concert on Sunday, Dec. 11 at Holbrook United Methodist Church.

The Livingston Community Choir, which is directed by Mark Mills, has been going for 30 years. This is one the group’s biggest events of the season.

The choir, which now has 50 members, will perform 20 songs as groups, duets and soloists.

Denise Benden, a senior at Park High School, will be one of the soloists for the concert, singing “Do You Hear What I Hear?”

Benden said Monday evening at the Community Choir practice that she has always been very involved with music with multiple choir classes and band practices throughout her school day. She began singing with the choir group after she volunteered as a flutist at last year’s concert.

She said she has done some solos in the past but there is still a healthy amount of nervousness that follows performing in front of others.

“I have been told that if you aren’t nervous, then you don’t care enough,” Benden said.

The concert will start at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 11 at Holbrook United Methodist Church. It will be followed by a cookie reception and handmade gifts for sale by the women of Holbrook.