1 CHRISTMAS, MEXICO-STYLE
For hundreds of years, Mexican communities have been holding posadas—nine-day celebrations just before Christmas during which folks go from house to house and mark the holiday with food, drinks and piñatas. The word itself means "lodging"—the event stems from Mary and Joseph searching for shelter in Bethlehem.
"It's a Mexican tradition, and it's been going on in Mexico and the bi-national community here," says Juan Gallegos, president of the Board of Trustees of the Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park. "And in Tijuana, la frontera, the southwestern region of the United States, it's very much alive, specifically in our community, who want to keep our cultural heritage up front."
The Centro Cultural de la Raza will help keep the tradition alive at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, when it holds its own Posada. The event will be nondenominational, Gallegos stresses, aimed only at celebrating the community and the holiday season with good food and drink. It's partly to thank supporters of the Centro Cultural and partly to encourage additional donations to help keep the center's programming robust.
Local businesses will provide pozole, tamales and chocolate, as well as beer, wine, sangria, tequila samples and Mexican drinks like ponche and champurrado. Folks can take a whack at a piñata, there'll be a raffle and a silent auction and a surprise special guest will perform live music. Emceeing the festivities will be KUSI's "super-fabulous weather chica" Leslie Lopez—at least that's what Gallegos calls her.
But, wait—this all sounds very Latino. Can gringos come?
"Everybody's invited to come!" Gallegos assures. "Posada is the neighborhood; you are the neighborhood, brother!" The Centro Cultural is located at 2004 Park Blvd. centroculturaldelaraza.org
The Itinerant Arts Collaborative describes itself as "a group of artists, art historians, curators and connoisseurs of all things art and culture" who want to give San Diegans more opportunities to engage with the local arts scene. As IAC's name indicates, they're not tied to any one exhibition space and will be holding shows wherever they damn well please. Their inaugural event happens from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, at Brokers Building Gallery (402 Market St., Downtown). Called Getting to Know You, it's packed-full of artists that IAC thinks deserve attention: Kate Ashton, Jean Benelli, Brian Dombrowsky, Jason Feather, Scott Gengelbach, Tim Hardy, Joan Mathison, Lorain Khalil Rihan, Geoffrey Stocking and Anna Woerman. Can't make it? There's a closing reception on Jan. 4. facebook.com/itinerantartscollaborative
3 ROCK GODS
In 100 years, San Diegans won't call it "Christmas." No, it'll be known only as the day after Exile on Kettner Blvd. See, for the last 20 years, San Diego's rock 'n' roll community has converged to play the hits of The Rolling Stones on Christmas Eve (this year on Monday, Dec. 24, of course). Each year, it's grown; each year, it's rooted itself deeper into the bedrock of local heritage. And it's only a matter of time before the jam—an homage to the Stones' 1972 double-LP Exile on Main St.— reaches Biblical proportions and The Casbah (2501 Kettner Blvd. in Middletown) becomes the new Bethlehem. The free show starts jumpin' like Jack Flash at 9 p.m. and promises satisfaction by 2 a.m. facebook.com/exileonkettnerblvd