On course

Allan Hancock College is offering 14 credit and Community Education (noncredit) courses in the Santa Ynez Valley next spring. Semester-length credit classes begin the week of Jan. 22, 2013, and end the week of May 13.

Many Allan Hancock College credit classes are also open to current qualified high school juniors and seniors through the College Now! program.

For eligible students, the enrollment fee is waived. High school students should contact their school counseling office for details, or call the Allan Hancock College counseling office toll free at 1-866-DIAL AHC (342-5242) ext. 3293.

Toys for Tots

The Toys for Tots JR’s Cruise Night is set from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, at JR’s Drive-In Burgers on E. Main St. in Santa Maria.

Drop off a new toy worth at least $10, get a burger from the Car Hop and enjoy the old cars.

The Toys for Tots program is sponsored by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.

Holiday cheer

Every year, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and Old Mission Santa Ines bring together Santa Ynez Valley organizations, businesses, churches and individuals to provide Christmas for struggling valley families who might otherwise go without.

Christmas basket recipients must be residents of the Santa Ynez Valley. The program is open to families with minor children who are struggling financially.

Each family receives food, staples, toiletries, a large decorated box filled with wrapped presents for each member, a gift card for a supermarket, and two chickens donated by El Rancho Market.Individuals, groups or organizations select a family and shop for presents to match the family’s description.

On Dec 17 or 18, they bring wrapped presents to the Mission Parish Hall. Society volunteers prepare the baskets. On Dec. 21, the needy receive their baskets. St. Mark’s in the Valley Episcopal Church has adopted 51 families and the Santa Ynez Valley Presbyterian Church has adopted 50 families.

The remainder of the families should be adopted by Old Mission Santa Ines, the Rotary, 4-H, Charter School and local businesses.

Community pageant

The Solvang Community Nativity Pageant takes place on Saturday, Dec. 15, at Solvang’s Theatrefest, 2nd St. Solvang. Solvang’s own Efrem Zimbalist Jr. narrates the Nativitystory, while a host of local volunteers dressed as shepherds, angels, kings and counselors, Joseph and Mary and baby Jesus bring to life the story. The performance also includes live animals. This annual Christmas tradition dates back to 1984. The two shows are at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Admission is free, and warm clothing is recommended. In case of rain, the Pageant will be held at the Presbyterian Church, 1825 Alamo Pintado Road.

Meet the author

A book signing with Wendy Varble, author of the newly released The Summer of 1934, is slated from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16, at Jedlicka’s Western Wear on De la Vina Street in Santa Barbara. Varble, a lifelong Simi Valley resident, was inspired by her husband’s upbringing in California during the 1930s.

A portion of all book sales will benefit Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network.

Health meeting

The Santa Barbara County Mental Health Commission will meet from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 14, at the Santa Maria Clinic, 500 W. Foster Road, Santa Maria. Video Conferencing will be available to the public in large conference room of the Santa Barbara Children’s facility, 429 North San Antonio Road, Santa Barbara.

At the library

Los Olivos and Santa Ynez libraries invite families to visit and enjoy drop-in Winter Crafts on Saturday, Dec. 29. Children can make an acorn top or decorate a frame with acorns at Los Olivos library from 10:30 am until 12:30 p.m.

Los Olivos Library is located in the Grange Hall at 2374 Alamo Pintado Ave. in Los Olivos; Santa Ynez Library is at 3598 Sagunto Street, Santa Ynez, next door to the SYV Historical Museum. Both craft events are free and open to the public. For more information on these programs, contact the Solvang Library at (805)688-4214, or visit the library system’s website SBPLibrary.org.

In concert

Peter Feldmann & the Very Lonesome Boys will take the stage at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at St. Mark’s in the Valley, in Los Olivos. Advance tickets are $12 and may be purchased at The Book Loft in Solvang or at bluegrasswest.com. Tickets will be $15 at the door.

On film

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival, presented by lynda.com, is proud to present award winning actor Amy Adams with the Cinema Vanguard Award on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013. She will be honored for her exceptional performance in this year’s The Master with a tribute at the 28th edition of the Festival, which runs Jan. 24-Feb. 3, 2013, it was announced today by SBIFF executive director Roger Durling.

The festivities will take place at the historic Arlington Theatre on Thursday, Jan. 31, with tickets available now and can be purchased through www.sbfilmfestival.org or by calling (805) 963-0023. Festival Passes and Packages are still available and sold exclusively at www.sbfilmfestival.org or call (805) 963-0023.

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is dedicated to the art of filmmaking, which seeks out and consequently offers a broad array of international and independent films, with a commitment to diversity. SBIFF, which attracts more than 70,000 visitors each year, endeavors to enrich the community both culturally and economically by presenting 11 days of films, tributes and symposiums, raising consciousness of film as an art form. SBIFF presents quality American and world independent films, Latin American and French sidebars, as well as documentary cinema within the beautiful setting of downtown Santa Barbara, a premier tourist destination. SBIFF continues its commitment to education through its 10-10-10 Student Filmmaking and Screenwriting competitions, Field Trip to the Movies, presented by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and educational seminars. For more information, log onto www.sbfilmfestival.org.

Frost in January

Polly Frost is slated to perform her next one-person show, titled “Bad Role Models and What I Learned from Them,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9, in Solvang at the Casa Cassara Winery.

Nature hikes

The Wildling Museum has organized a monthly series of nature hikes with naturalists Fred Emerson and Larry Ballard. On Saturday, Dec. 15, they will take a group to have a closer look at the natural features of Nojoqui Falls Park, located at the base of the north slope of the Santa Ynez Mountains. Call 686-8315 to make reservations.

Space is limited; $25 per person or $20 for Wildling Museum members.

For the horses

A dressage clinic with Olympian Jan Ebeling, Santa Ynez, is set for Dec. 29-30. Contact Nicole Chastain Price at nicole@nicolechastain.com or Lisa Teske at Lkteske@aol.com.