FlipSide Guide 12/18/14: Music Friday, Holiday Extravaganza, The Night Before Christmas Railroad Tour

Make a cookie house in Lancaster.

Make a cookie house in Lancaster Saturday at the Country Barn.

Special events

  • Music Friday returns, from 6-9 p.m. Dec. 19 in downtown Lancaster. Each third Friday of the month, Lancaster City will entertain musical performances throughout the afternoon. In addition to live music, Music Friday will also feature retailers, restaurants and other attractions.
  • Children are invited to Build Their Own Cookie House with Santa, from 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 20 at the Country Barn, located on 211 S. Donerville Road, Lancaster.  As described by the Country Barn, each child will be given a cookie building kit (includes 6 graham crackers, gum drops, mini candy canes, and more) to make their unique creations. The Country Kitchen will be vending hot chocolate, coffee, and baked goods, as part of their “Christmas on the Farm” holiday-weekend celebrations. [Admission is free; cookie building kits are $5 each]

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FlipSide Panel: Find out what your friends are doing this Dec. weekend around York, Pa.

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Susan Scofield: Friday night I will be wrapping presents at home while trying out the new “Shakedown” Imperial Chocolate Cherry Stout by Starr Hill Brewing Co!” Saturday I will be drinking delicious craft beers and checking out The Ok-Oks at Beer Mongers! Sunday, I’ll be getting some last-minute shopping done for the York fans on my list with Carmen Walsh’s “York PA Stuff” line at the Art Meets Fashion: Holiday Boutique at CityArt Gallery!

SATOKOBERG

Satoko Berg: We are getting together with some friends and making gingerbread houses this week! Our boys (8 and 4) go crazy with candies (so that they can eat them later)…. But when I make a ginger bread house, I tend to make it as simple as possible. I love the white of icing on the dark brown color of ginger bread. I also sprinkle powered sugar for a snowy effect.
Some of my inspirations are found here:
http://goodiesbyanna.typepad.com/blog/2010/12/gingerbread-house-2010-happy-holidays.html
http://stylesweetca.com/2013/12/10/gingerbread-house-cake/
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Michael Waterloo: Same passion, different paper

IMG_4699It’s always hard to come up with an introduction column at a new job. What could I possibly say that I haven’t said before in one of these at my past two stops? At the Punxsutawney Spirit, where I served as the sports editor, I wrote how I had the dream to work in the newspaper industry since I was a young kid. When I moved to the Oregon coast, to serve as the editor of the North Coast Citizen, I wrote about how badly I wanted to move out west and work at the beach.

So, when I typed the first three paragraphs of this column five times only to delete it to start over, I was at a loss. Then, I remembered, while I may have written an introduction column a few times before, I have a brand new audience of readers this time around.

So, let me start by introducing myself. My name is Michael Waterloo, and I’m the new features editor at the Lebanon Daily News, and with that job, I’ll be working hand-in-hand with both FlipSidePA and GameTimePA.

And it’s true, when I was a kid, I wanted to work in the newspaper industry. Over the past 20 years, the industry has changed, but my passion for it hasn’t. When Andrea Rich, the managing editor at the Daily News, offered me the job, she told me that it was going to be a mix of sports and features work, which is right up my alley.
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Craig Wayne Boyd wins ‘The Voice’ Season 7

Craig Wayne Boyd with his trophy.  Photo courtesy NBC.

Craig Wayne Boyd with his trophy.
Photo courtesy NBC.

How awful does Gwen’s decision to get rid of Craig Wayne Boyd look now?

After being nearly eliminated twice on the show, “The Cardiac Kid” Craig Wayne Boyd was announced as the winner of season 7 of NBC’s “The Voice” last night.

To be honest, as much as I wanted Boyd to win, I didn’t think he had enough to draw in America, but it was his passionate performances in the Finale that helped propel the Nashville-native to become Blake Shelton’s fourth winner.

And how about Blake?
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Holiday gifs: 12 ways to describe your Christmas spirit right about now

You survived Black Friday.

And put up the Christmas tree.

You even wrapped a gift.

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FlipSide guide 12/11/14: Painting and Wine, Tea with Santa, ‘The Nutcracker’

Sarah Hoffman, 17, center, and Savanna Doyle, 15, right, help lace up 5-year-old Sadie Pacifico's ankle on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2014, at Greater York Dance. Dancers at Greater York Dance are preparing for their annual performance of "The Nutcracker" at the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center. Chris Dunn, FlipSide

Sarah Hoffman, 17, center, and Savanna Doyle, 15, right, help lace up 5-year-old Sadie Pacifico’s ankle on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2014, at Greater York Dance. Dancers at Greater York Dance are preparing for their annual performance of “The Nutcracker” at the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center. Chris Dunn, FlipSide

Special events

  • Days of the Belsnickel is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 13 at the The Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum, 2451 Kissel Hill Road, Lancaster. The event covers a delightful holiday lunch tour that culminates with a trip to the Landis Valley Museum Store full of unique Christmas gifts. The tour would be incomplete without an encounter with the notorious “der Belsnickel.” [$34.50 per person; contact Jamie Schuring at 717-581-0590 to schedule a reservation.]

Festivals and food

  • Join the Painting and Wine Party, from 6-8:30 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Naylor Wine Shoppe at Queensgate, 2035 Springwood Road, York. Relax with friends over wine, as you create a masterpiece to take home. Early arrivals get to enjoy a free wine sampling. [$35 (includes all painting supplies: canvases, easels, paints, brushes, and smocks.)]
  • Have Tea With Santa at 3:30 p.m. Dec. 13 in the Red Brick Bakery & Tea Room, 55 N. Main St., Red Lion. During the teatime event, children are invited to make crafts and have pictures taken with Santa. The Enchanted Teapot and Red Brick Bakery will also be offering up scones, tea, assorted desserts and their signature, kid-friendly sandwiches. [Cost for the tea is $20 per person. Reservations are required.]

On stage

  • EMC’s Holiday Celebration is scheduled for 6 p.m. Dec. 13 in the Pullo Center, 1031 Edgecomb Ave., York. EMC Performing Arts Studio is heralded for its lively choreography and uplifting productions. Enjoy seasonal favorites integrated into the styles of ballet, jazz, tap and modern dance. [Tickets are $20/$10 or $22.50 at the door.]
  • Attend a concert by the Hanover Symphony Orchestra, from 7-9 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Eichelberger Performing Arts Center, 195 Stock Street Suite 200, Hanover. The orchestra is set to perform Home for the Holidays that evening. The holiday special will also feature the Spring Grove Area High School Expressions vocal ensemble. [Tickets are $13 (adults) and $7 (students); additional fees may apply.]
  • Catch a showing of Yule Laugh Again More Too, starting at 9 p.m. Dec. 13 in Zoetropolis, 315 W. James St., Lancaster. The theatrical production incorporates short plays, sketches, and song parodies of Christmas carols composed by local writers. One of the many creative films shown at the independent theatre, Zoetropolis, Yule Laugh Again More Too will be spreading the joy (and some laughs) this holiday season.

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FlipSide Panel: What are you doing this Dec. weekend around York, Pa?

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Rita King: On Thursday evening, I’m going to check out Smith & Weeden, a musical group from Rhode Island at Sign of the Wagon on Philadelphia Street. Saturday morning there is a benefit class at Evolution Power Yoga for a local non-profit called A Week Away that I am definitely going to and then I’m going to get some Christmas shopping done! I’ll probably hit up Hive Artspace for some handmade ornaments and jewelry and then sort through all the cool stuff at Ironic in WeCo neighborhood. I always find something new and unique there!

JJ Sheffer

JJ Sheffer: This weekend I’ll be getting started on my Christmas shopping. I buy almost all my gifts from shops in downtown York. Every year, my family and friends receive gifts from Sunrise Soap Company, Sweet Melissa’s Dream, Park Street Pantry, and Kimman’s (all on North Beaver Street). This year, I look forward to adding 56 Urban Provisions and Redeux Marketplace (both in Royal Square) and Clay Path Studio (first block of West Market Street) to that tradition.
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“The Voice” recap: The finals are here!

It’s hard not to like Adam Levine’s chances of being the winning coach in this season of “The Voice.”

With three of the final four singers from his team, Adam is the heavy favorite to win the show, but Team Blake’s Craig Wayne Boyd is the pesky fly that just won’t go away.

Boyd was the second singer selected for the finals on Tuesday’s show and with no shock.

Since Boyd’s transformation by Gwen Stefani, and a pair of saves earlier in the show, Boyd has become a one-man wrecking crew for Blake Shelton. He’s performed hit after hit and still remains standing.

Adam may have the numbers, but Blake’s remaining soldier is entrenched in a great position to win the show.

Regardless of who wins, this season has become the best season of the show in sheer talent and it may be the first season of the show where the winner becomes a star.

I’ll leave my choice for the winner at the bottom of the column.

Chris Jamison.  Photo courtesy NBC

Chris Jamison.
Photo courtesy NBC

Chris Jamison

Chris Jamison’s journey on the voice can be characterized from a lyric from the Jay Z classic “Dirt off your shoulder,” — “from the bottom of the bottom, to the top of the pops.”

Jamison has been saved twice by America – a move I thought was slightly based on his appeal to younger (more technology friendly) viewers. However, his performance this week solidified him as a potential breakout star after the show concludes.

Adam’s pick of Maroon 5’s “Sugar” was an excellent choice. It show’s off Jamison’s best trait – his falsetto.

He’s consistently had the best falsetto on the show – a trait so different than others on the show. Damien can reach a falsetto, but it’s nowhere near as good as Jamison’s.

“Sugar” also shows off the blend of normal singing and use of falsetto that he could use in his own songs in the future.

Jamison struggled on his own pick of “When I Was Your Man,” where he missed a section of high notes in the first chorus he tried to hit with his regular voice. The second chorus was much better, when he nailed that same note with his falsetto.

While Jamison could easily win the show, the real question is what happens to him after. Adam’s other two winners – Tessanne Chin and Javier Colon, haven’t been able to turn “Voice” success into mainstream success. Jamison has a voice for pop stations across the country, but the question is, can Jamison turn around Team Adam’s lack of post-show success?

Craig Wayne Boyd.  Photo courtesy NBC

Craig Wayne Boyd.
Photo courtesy NBC

Craig Wayne Boyd
Coach’s pick: “Workin’ Man’s Blues” by Merle Haggard
Craig’s pick: “The Old Rugged Cross” by Alan Jackson

Go ahead and tell me that Boyd isn’t a bonafide star, and in three years when he’s headlining tours with Blake Shelton in Hershey Park I’ll tell you that you’re a liar.

What else could you want from a singer? He may not be your style, but you can’t deny he’s impressive and multi-faceted. In just a few months on the show, we’ve seen him go from blues, to country, to southern rock, to softer ballads all without losing a step.

Boyd’s biggest appeal is his blue collar approach to songs – a trait showed off best in “Workin’ Man’s Blues.”

Boyd takes a simple song – one that may have not been the best choice for “The Voice” – and turns it into a song that showcases all of Boyd’s vocal talent.

Boyd’s not simply a singer, but a storyteller. Here’s a guy who’s worked for everything in his life, and he’ll gladly tell you about it in “Workin’ Man’s Blues.”

Boyd then showed off his diversity in his own pick in Alan Jackson’s “The Old Rugged Cross.”

This was the moment Boyd needed – showcasing a diversity outside of the country/southern rock genre that he’s used throughout the show – even if this was a country ballad.

Boyd just makes things look effortless with the same simplicity he has carried throughout the competition. He never tries to out-perform the song, but rather, stays within his own limits to just put on a great performance.

After the show is all said and done, Boyd – win or lose – will have done more than enough to earn a spot on country stations everywhere. Fellow Team Blake stars such as Raelynn, The Swon Brothers, Cassadee Pope, Danielle Bradbery and others have gone on to become rising stars in the country music industry, and Boyd is well on his way to being the next star.

Matt McAndrew.  Photo courtesy NBC

Matt McAndrew.
Photo courtesy NBC

Matt McAndrew

A few weeks ago, Bruce Springsteen and Chris Martin tried their best to replace Bono in a concert in New York City after Bono hurt his arm in a biking accident, and both failed. Maybe the concert organizers should have just called Matt McAndrew.

His performance of U2’s “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” was truly impressive. Not only did McAndrew perform the song well as Bono would have performed it, but he was able to take subtle breaks in the song to show his own sense of style.

A little bit of background, I caught Monday’s show on Tuesday afternoon and put on his performance as I was working on a different project. It took me a few minutes to realize that they actually hadn’t brought Bono to perform with McAndrew, but that McAndrew had performed the song solo. That’s how convincing he was.

He fits right into the radio niche of the artist he’s covered the most – Ed Sheeran. They have a similar ability to provide the right amount of power without destroying a song’s passion – a quality McAndrew exemplified in this week’s performance of “Make it Rain.”

I’m eager to see what his performance for the finals will be. As long as he keeps his passion for a song, and his chemistry with Adam, McAndrew has a good shot of winning the performance.

Damien.  Photo courtesy NBC.

Damien.
Photo courtesy NBC.

Damien Lawson

I’m really just puzzled by Damien Lawson. Maybe that’s why I should just learn never to mess with the TSA.

Lawson’s been a great singer, but if you’ve read my previous columns, you’ll know that I’ve never been a huge fan of his work.

I’ve been begging and pleading for weeks now for Damien to break his shell and get out of these ballads, but week after week it’s another ballad.

The task of taking on a Michael Jackson song was tough, but Damien did a good job making the song his own. I would’ve actually mistaken the song for his own if I hadn’t heard it was from Michael Jackson earlier.

Damien’s performance of “I Don’t Want to Wait” might’ve been his worst performance of the show – not exactly great timing for the California native.

A few times in the song, Damien’s voice cracks reaching for some of the high notes and it was just a poor song choice. You can see his R&B roots, but between the cracks and a few points where he lacks pronunciation made him a tough choice to move on.

Damien did a much better job making Bruno Mars’s “Grenade” his own. It was a song that he could put his passion behind and sing in non-falsetto. This was more a song that you could see him perform on his debut album.

Whether it was Adam’s choice or his own, Damien hit a home run with that song.

Out of these four, Damien’s got the longest odds of winning, but he’ll see post-show success with an R&B niche not seen often. Look for him to become similar to a John Legend-type singer in terms of future success.

Prediction Time:

If’ you’ve been reading this blog since the beginning, you’ll know I’ve been a big fan of Craig Wayne Boyd ever since Blake let him go against James David Carter. I’ll still sit here and tell you Gwen Stefani made the biggest mistake in letting him go. I think he’s the best singer in this competition, and he’ll be the most successful after the show.

But he won’t win.

That’s right. My big pick? Chris Jamison.

I’ve had him out of the competition for several weeks now, but I think he finally turned a corner this week with his performances. Most of all, he’s got America behind him. With a still-blooming talent and the backing of the voters, Jamison is my pick to win the most talented season of “The Voice” yet.

Need to catch up before next week’s big finale? Read all of my previous blog posts here:

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Tell us! What’s your all-time favorite Christmas movie?

Didn’t see your favorite movie on the list? Tell us your favorite in the comments!

Now, tell us your favorite Christmas TV special!

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FlipSide guide 12/4/14: First Friday, Natural Ornament Workshop, Breakfast with Santa

York Revolution mascot DownTown greets Rodney Yeaple as he plays Christmas tunes on the bagpipes while approaching Continental Square during last year's Light Up Night in York.

York Revolution mascot DownTown greets Rodney Yeaple as he plays Christmas tunes on the bagpipes while approaching Continental Square during last year’s Light Up Night in York.

Special events

  • Dec. 5 means First Friday in downtown York. This month’s theme is “Light Up Night.” As always, First Friday is a great opportunity to shop, dine and explore what the White Rose City has to offer.
  • The Hanging of the Greens will take place from 6-8 p.m. Dec. 5 at the Hanover Junction Station in the Heritage Rail Trail County Park, as part of York’s First Friday celebration. Families are invited to see the exterior of the train station decorated for the holiday season. Hot beverages and cookies will be served. [Free]
  • Have Breakfast With Santa, 8-11 a.m. Dec. 6 at the Comfort Inn of Lancaster County North, 1 Denver Road, Denver. In addition to a hot breakfast buffet, there will be activities like balloons and face painting. Proceeds benefit the Toys for Tots organization, supporting needy children during the holiday season. [$5 donation per child (adults are free).]
  • Country Christmas Village opens from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 6 and from 12-4 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum. The festive celebration of Pennsylvania German contributions features a craft-making session for children, a delightful tour, and complimentary hot chocolate and gingersnaps at the tavern. The highlight of the day includes an entertaining performance by handbell ringer, Ron Bellamy. [Ticket prices are $12 (adults), $10 (seniors), and $8 (ages 6-11). This event is free for children ages 5 & under and LVA members.]
Decorate cookies for the holidays at this workshop.

Decorate cookies for the holidays at Paulus Orchards’ class on Saturday.

Festivals and food

  • Enjoy a Cookie Decorating Class at 1 p.m. Dec. 6 in Paulus Orchards, 522 E. Mt. Airy Road, Dillsburg. A resident baker, Janelle, will provide direction as you decorate your cookies. Enthusiastic bakers will get to go home with a dozen of their decorated creations. [$20; for ages 12 and older]

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